Toronto Market Stabilizes in September 2018
The Toronto Real Estate Board has just released its statistics for September 2018. Here’s the report:
GTA REALTORS® Release September Stats TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 3, 2018 –
Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,455 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September 2018 – up 1.9 per cent compared to September 2017.
The average selling price for September 2018 sales was up by 2.9 per cent over the same period to $796,786. The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was up by two per cent year-over-year.
New listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in September 2018 amounted to 15,920 – down by 3.1 per cent compared to September 2017. With sales up year-over-year and new listings down, market conditions became tighter. Many buyers may have found it more difficult to find a home meeting their needs.
“It is healthy to see sales and prices in many areas across the Greater Toronto Area up a bit, compared to last year’s lows. At the same, however, it is important to remember that TREB’s market area is made up of over 500 communities. Market conditions have obviously unfolded differently across these communities. This is why it’s important to work with a REALTOR® who is familiar with local market conditions in your areas of interest,”
said Mr. Bhaura.
“While higher borrowing costs and tougher mortgage qualification rules have kept sales levels off the record pace set in 2016, many households remain positive about home ownership as a quality long-term investment. As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand. The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region,”
added Mr. Bhaura.
On a monthly basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales edged up by 0.2 per cent in September 2018 compared to August 2018. The average selling price, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, edged lower by 0.5 per cent month-over-month.
“Generally speaking, annual rates of price growth have been stronger for higher density home types in 2018, including condominium apartments, townhouses and semi-detached houses. In many neighbourhoods, these home types provide more affordable home ownership options. This is why a policy focus on increasing mid-density housing options throughout the GTA is important,”
said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
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:
Average Prices Month
$730,124 January 1st
$768,351 January 31st
$734,824 January 1st
$735,838 January 31st
The average price has risen from $734,824 at the beginning of the year to $808,337 in June and then dropped down to $796,786 by the end of September, that’s an increase of $61,962 which is an 8.43% increase in the nine month period. If that were to continue (which is entirely speculative), it would be 11.24% 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 $796,786, that’s an increase of $66,662 or 9.13% over the full 21 month period, or expressed annually as 5.22%. That’s important since if we were simply to calculate on a straight line basis, market performance for the last 21 months, expressed as an annual percentage, we come up with 5.22%.
Naturally, the 5.22% 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 are the recent numbers: $804,944, $803,619, $808,337, over the April, May and June, 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.
Summer is 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 September we have seen an increase. We are just about at that the point which I had previously referred to as the floor. In fact if we were to average out the prices for those 4 months we would have $803,421, that’s indicative, in my opinion, of the new floor for the average price of a single family home in the GTA across all types of housing.
As for prices, it would appear that we have some stability. I would expect to see higher numbers in October followed by slight decreases in November and December.
Volume of Transactions
This is what happened in 2017:
60,235 total for nine months
92,273 all of 2017
113,040 all of 2016
101,213 all of 2015
92,782 all of 2014
In the last three months of 2017, we had 19,274 transactions, if we added that to what we have now, that would bring us to 79,509 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.
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