Toronto and GTA Markets in August 2019
This is the recently released report of the Toronto Real Estate Board concerning the August 2019 results:
"GTA REALTORS® Release August 2019 Stats TORONTO, SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 –
Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019.
This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018. On a month over-month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent. GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses.
This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings.
This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year. Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments. The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses."
Here are the average sale prices as reported by TREB for single family homes of all types in the GTA, including houses, townhouses and apartments starting at the beginning of 2018 until now:
Average Prices Month
$734,837 January 1st
$735,874 January 31st
$749,019 January 1st
$747,515 January 31st
For those following these numbers on a monthly basis, please note that some of the recent sales numbers in 2019 have had to be restated. A few transactions may have fallen through and not closed as originally scheduled. Consequently, TREB deletes them and re-enters them in the proper month. That will throw the average prices off by a few hundred dollars. Changes are more likely for the most recent months.
Let’s do a quick analysis. 2018 started with $734,837 and we are now at $792,611, that’s an increase of $71,918 which is 7.72% increase over the twenty month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 4.64% annualized increase.
Let’s also go back to 2017 which was the year with the peak of the market and the sudden drop. 2017 started with $730,472 and we are now at $792,611, that’s an increase of $76,283 which is 10.44% increase over the thirty two (32) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 3.19% annualized increase.
Why don’t we try the short term numbers for just 2019? The calendar year 2019 started with $749,019 and we are now at$792,611, that’s an increase of $43,592 which is 5.82% increase over the eight month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s an 8.73% annualized increase.
So, what’s the percentage rate of increase?
From 2017 3.19% calculated
From 2018 4.64% calculated
From 2019 8.73% estimated
Volume of Sales
Month 2019 2018 Trend
January 3,969 3,987 down
February 4,983 5,148 down
March 7,135 7,188 down
April 9,007 7,742 up
May 9,955 8,402 up
June 8,836 8,024 up
July 8,581 6,916 up
August 7,711 6,797 up
Total 60,177 54,204 up
Last year the total sales for the first eight months was 54,204 and this year it’s 60,177, or 5,973 more transactions representing an 11.02% increase.
This trend will put the pressure on prices. Buyers have obviously chosen to enter the market rather than continue to sit on the sidelines. Eliminating the stress test and lengthening the amortization periods would help too. Maybe that will come up during the election?
More transactions without a corresponding increase in Listings will continue to put pressure on prices. The August numbers usually equate with the end of the summer slowdown.
This looks like an attractive and balanced market for both Buyers and Sellers. Lightening up on the stress test (mortgage qualifications rules) and extending amortization periods will permit Buyers to get more house for the money they spend. That’s a political decision and we have a federal election coming up this October. This will be a topical in the election.
Detached homes are still the most popular and sought after in the marketplace. The problem is that they became just too expensive for the average buyer. You will see a resurgence in prices for detached homes over the next couple of months.
The stress test placed a restriction upon what those who required mortgage financing (that’s just about everyone) could afford to pay. Basically, that moved people down the market to a slightly lower category.
Initially, condominium apartments did well, then, townhomes and now the semi-detached market is hot. Next, we will find that the buyers are in search for detached houses. They never lost desirability, just affordability.
We are likely to see the May 31st number, that is, $838,275 reached within the next seven weeks.
If you would like to discuss the market, please give me a call.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker