Toronto, Ontario, September 5, 2019 - MarketWatch, The Toronto Real Estate Board’s residential real estate statistical report published monthly, was released this morning by Board President Michael Collins showing a robust jump in the number of residences reported sold by Toronto and GTA Realtors® through the Board’s MLS® System in August - though inventory levels continue to be problematic - particularly at the middle and lower price points. The tighter inventory situation obviously didn’t have a huge impact on Average Prices, however: Price gains were led largely by the Condo Apartment sector, up 6.1%, whereas the overall Average Price came in at +3.6%.
Sales volume was particularly strong in "The 905" [area code] surrounding Metro Toronto - most notably a 25% higher print for Detached home sales. That was followed closely by an 18+% jump for Semi-Detached freehold houses.
All figures quoted herein are year-over-year comparisons unless otherwise noted.
Crunching The Numbers
Metro Toronto “proper” [The 416] saw 669 sales of Detached homes reported, an 8.8% increase versus last August, at an average sale price of $1,246,392, a paper-thin .3% rise. The balance of the Greater Toronto Area [The 905] saw 2,949 Detached sales reported, a 24.5% spike, at an average of $918,242, up 1.3%.
Overall sales volume - meaning all home types across TREB’s market area - was up 13.4% to 7,711 units at an average sale price of $792,611, up 3.6% as noted above. Clearly the bulk of that increase came from the low-rise sector. It’s interesting that price gains were generally muted in that more expensive low-rise sector compared to the Condo Apartment sector despite the lower sales volume increases in the latter. Even tight Condo inventory - particularly in and around Toronto's downtown core - did not give a whole lot of support to prices.
Condo Apartment sales [MLS®] were up 2.2% in Metro Toronto to 1,410 units averaging $619,307, up a healthy-but-not-spectacular 5.7%. In the balance of the GTA trading area 657 sales reflected an 8.2% volume gain at an average of $478,755, up 8.5%.
With prices in many areas having fallen back since the Spring, 2017 peak, sometimes sellers elect to wait in hope of prices rebounding to “what might have been” had they sold at that peak. Obviously that has an impact on inventory. But there’s at least one other reason - and we’re hearing it more and more often it seems - namely, “Sure we could sell. Where would we go?”
In the face of those types of factors - both in the case of Bungalows specifically and in the market overall - even newly listed properties were down 3% to 11,789 homes. More importantly, the Total Active Listings figure stood at 15,870 at month’s end representing an 11.2% inventory decline from last August. And at the end of July...just one month earlier...TAL stood at just shy of 18,000 homes. But the problem isn’t simply “inventory” per se in many areas; it’s inventory in the middle-to-lower price points.
Forward Inventory, calculated by the number of active listings divided by the month’s sales volume, stood at just over two months - meaning there’s about two months of supply based on present demand. That remains stubbornly low by historical standards even though it’s a most welcome respite from “The Peak” when Forward Inventory was “mere weeks”...and price gains were running in the 30% YoY range.
Bungalows continue to be very popular with the significant portion of our population that’s maturing - as most of us realize - for reasons varying from downsizing the amount of space to taking some [usually income tax-free] money off the table for retirement. But even though those one-storey houses are actually more expensive per square foot on average, in a departure from trends of recent decades they’re also popular with younger singles, couples, and families - whether first-time buyers or otherwise - because they still usually represent a lower price point within the low-rise market...not to mention a real backyard for outdoor entertaining, barbeques & patios, gardening, children / grandchildren, pets, etc.... “pleasures” that Apartment living is generally less conducive to.
Looking at inventory levels in the Bungalow market specifically, here are some “random” examples of sales volume and active listing levels [figures rounded; listing levels @ time of writing] from around our market area:
Etobicoke: 59 sold [Average $949k; Median $880k] in August; 98 available [Average $1.143 million; Median $997k] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~1.66 months.
Scarborough: 102 sold [Average $778k; Median $760k] in August; 179 available [Average $923k; Median $829k] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~1.75 months.
Oakville: 29 sold [Average $1.042 million; Median $890k] in August; 101 available [Average $1.353 million; Median $1,129 million] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~3.48 months.
Brampton: 61 sold [Average $768k; Median $679k] in August; 93 available [Average $1.029 million; Median $748k] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~1.52 months.
Oshawa: 69 sold [Average $503k; Median $485k] in August; 131 available [Average $584k Median $549k] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~1.9 months.
Barrie: 54 sold [Average $519k; Median $492k] in August; 115 available [Average $597; Median $544k] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~2.13 months.
Richmond Hill: 23 sold [Average $979k; Median $939k] in August; 114 available [Average $1.703 million; Median $1.285 million] for sale. Forward Inventory = ~4.96 months.
Some interesting numbers - particularly the pricier areas outside “The Big Smoke” such as Oakville and...Wow...Richmond Hill. Note the Average/Median Sold versus Asks...
For detailed updates of all Sold & Active listing activity in your own neighbourhood, go here.
See charts for detailed breakdowns of each of the above Towns/Areas at the bottom of this page.
For Bungalow averages / medians from all around the Greater Golden Horseshoe by City/Region, go here.
The Bottom Line...
So, low inventory...low interest rates...good sales growth...stable prices. Is it a sustainable equation? Toss in an upcoming federal election and we’ll see...
Just for the record, homes sold “7.4% faster” on average at 25 Days on Market versus 27. Both figures are relatively quick by historical standards.
Thank-you once again for reading - and we hope you thoroughly enjoy these waning weeks of warmth!
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