The average sold price for a property in the City of Toronto now sits at $842,483, a 5% increase from November 2017. However, the number of properties sold in November was down 14% from the same time last year. This November 2,563 properties sold in the City as compared to 2,978 that sold in 2017.
Overall its still a seller’s market in the City of Toronto as lack of inventory has translated into higher sale prices. Detached houses saw the average sale price increase by 1.8% to $1,301,382; semi-detached homes increased by an eye-popping 17.2 % to $1,060,359; and condominium units came in at almost $600,000, a year-over-year increase of over 7%.
The market’s lack of inventory is becoming a serious concern. Fewer properties have been coming to market over the past several months, but the decline was very evident in November. Toronto realtors only delivered 3,892 new listings. By comparison 4,881 new properties came to market last year, a decline of more than 20%.
This decline has had a substantial impact on the total active listings available to buyers. At the beginning of December there were 4,946 properties available for sale in the City of Toronto, a decline of almost 9% compared to the 5,430 available last year.
Within certain neighbourhoods and trading areas the lack of inventory has reached crisis proportions. In the City of Toronto there are only 283 semi-detached properties available for sale. In November 209 semi-detached properties were reported sold. This translates into just slightly more than one month of available inventory.
In Toronto’s eastern districts the number of sales in November of this housing type exceeded the number of properties available in December. It is not surprising, therefore, that all semi-detached properties in the eastern districts sold at 107% of their asking prices and in 15 days, as compared to the 27 days it took for all properties to sell in the greater Toronto area.
Toronto’s condominium apartment inventory is also down to crisis levels. Considering that condo units are Toronto’s only “affordable” housing stock, the dearth of condo listings is particularly concerning.
Only 1,928 new listings came to market in November. Last year 2,277 condo units came to market. At month-end available inventory was reduced to only 2,167 active listings ---- last year there were 2,355.
This lack of product has caused the average sale price for condo units to increase to $595,678, and in Toronto’s central core, where most sales take place, the average sale price was almost $670,000. Paying $1,000 per square foot for a resale condo (on average) is now common place.
The one segment of the market to buck the trend of higher prices and lower inventory is the high-end. The average sale price for a luxury property priced over $2M now sits at $2.83M, a 10.8% decrease from the same time last year when the average sold price was $3.173M.
New mortgage stress testing rules and numerous mortgage interest rate hikes have retracted this segment of the market. When money was cheap, and money was easily available, high-end property sales accelerated dramatically to unsustainable price levels.
Over the first six months of 2019 prices of properties in this price point will moderate and then begin to rise consistent with overall market increases in the second half of the year.
Overall the market is now feeling the impact of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions mandated stress testing which came into play in January, and the various increases in borrowing costs.
The combination if these measures has had a direct impact on affordability. The days of buyers paying indiscriminate prices are gone. Under these conditions both sales and average sale prices will increase only moderately going forward.
All the available data points to a soft landing for the Toronto and area residential resale market. In 2019 we should see steady but moderate growth in sales and average sale prices, growth consistent with inflation and Canada’s cost of living, except for some very sought after neighbourhoods and housing types.
Victoria Boscariolis a real estate agent in Toronto Canada with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage. With over 20 years experience, Victoria has been helping people successfully buy and sell condos and houses in Yorkville and downtown Toronto. As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) she has worked with Buyers from around the world moving to Toronto from China, Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, The United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. By building an international marketing strategy for every property she puts up for sale, Victoria's listings of Toronto homes and luxury condos get global exposure that attract qualified buyers from around the world.