Toronto Market Continues to Rationalize in November 2018
This is the recently released report of the Toronto Rea Estate Board concerning the November 2018 results:
GTA REALTORS® Release November Stats TORONTO, ONTARIO, December 5, 2018 –
Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced the continuation of moderate price growth in November 2018 compared to November 2017. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.7 per cent year-over-year.
The average selling price was up by 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $788,345. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,251 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2018. This result was down by 14.7 per cent compared to November 2017, when we saw a temporary upward shift in demand as the market was distorted by the looming OSFI-mandated stress test at the end of last year.
“New listings were actually down more than sales on a year-over-year basis in November. This suggests that, in many neighbourhoods, competition between buyers may have increased. Relatively tight market conditions over the past few months have provided the foundation for renewed price growth,”
said Mr. Bhaura.
On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by 3.4 per cent compared to October 2018. The average selling price after preliminary seasonal adjustment was down by 0.8 per cent compared to October 2018.
“Home types with lower average price points have been associated with stronger rates of price growth over the past few months. Given the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test and higher borrowing costs on affordability, it makes sense that the condo apartment and semi-detached market segments experienced relatively stronger rates of price growth in November, as market conditions in these segments remained tight or tightened respectively over the past year,”
said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Before we undertake a review of the numbers, please bear in mind that all of the numbers that I’m using are drawn from TREB. There is no other source. When TREB makes comparisons, it often does so, on a “year over year” basis. So, here, November 2018 is compared to November 2017. In my case, my two starting points are the beginning of the calendar year 2018, and the beginning of the calendar year 2017.
Also, if you are regularly following my reports over an extended period of time, you will notice that the math never works out exactly, close, but always off by a bit. This is due to the fact that TREB will restate its own numbers throughout the year. A deal that was posted as completed in June might fall through and reappear in September. TREB will go back, delete the transaction from June and add it to September. We won’t know about that until early October.
You will also appreciate that I’m just using single family homes, and I’m just referring to the entire GTA. The reason is quite simple. It’s the law of large numbers. It’s difficult not to be accurate when we are talking about close to 100,000 transactions annually. Once we talk about a specific type of house in a particular neighbourhood, there may only be a few transactions which are similar, and if there’s a “story” (ie. death, divorce) which goes with each of them, then they should be discounted and used with caution.
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 2017 until now:
Average Prices Month
$730,124 January 1st
$768,351 January 31st
$734,824 January 1st
$735,874 January 31st
The average price has risen from $734,824 at the beginning of the year to $808,108 in June and then dropped down to $788,345 by the end of November, that’s an increase of $72,516 which is a 7.28% increase in the eleven month period. If that were to continue (which is entirely speculative), it would be 7.94% over a one year period. That’s the present annual growth rate on an annual basis.
Let’s go back to the beginning of 2017 and see what those numbers show.
The average price would have risen from $730,124 to $788,345, that’s an increase of $58,221 or 7.97% over the full 23 month period, or expressed annually as 4.16%. That’s important since if we were simply to calculate on a straight line basis, market performance for the last 23 months, expressed as an annual percentage, we come up with 4.16%.
Naturally, the 4.16% completely removes the Spring of 2017, February, March, April and May from the equation. We are simply asking the question: “how has the market performed since the beginning of 2017”?
Here, the recent numbers: $804,944, $803,619, $808,337, and now $807,340 over the April, May, June and October months are basically holding steady, no serious ups or downs. As I had indicated earlier, I think we have basically found a new floor to the market and that is slightly above the $800,000 figure. We are currently trading at 98.5% of that number.
Summer was just what we expected. This is what usually happens in the market each year:
The market increases in January, February, March and April, reaches a peak in May (1st,15th, 31st ), decreases June, July and August, increases in September and October and decreases again in November and December.
In June this year we witnessed the peak for the year. However, it now looks like the usual cycle is resuming. July and August were down and in September and October we have seen increases, followed by a slight but expected decrease in November. We are still hovering at about the new floor for values.
As for prices, we have some stability, however, I would expect to see a slight decrease in December.
Volume of Transactions
This is what happened in 2017:
92,263 for the entire year
73,677 Total year to date
92,263 all of 2017
113,040 all of 2016
101,213 all of 2015
92,782 all of 2014
In December 2017, we had 4,877 transactions, if we added that to what we have now, that would bring us to 78,544 for the year, substantially short of what we have seen over the last few years.
What happened to all the Buyers? Will they come back to the market? They are still there! They just got caught offside. The market rapidly escalated and then dropped suddenly in 2017. Buyers who thought they could afford a detached home found that they couldn’t, so they withdrew. Interest rates increased slightly. Qualification requirements for mortgages tightened, meaning Buyers had less funds available to spend on properties.
However, the rental market is “tight”. There are competitive bidding wars now for rentals! After losing out, some renters will go back to purchasing on the theory that they might as well own something. And, it’s better to pay their own mortgage than their landlord’s.
Currently, there are some very good properties on the market available at reasonable prices.
The real estate market is always interesting. If you would like to discuss the market generally, give me a call at 416-745-2300.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker