Toronto & GTA MLS® Home Sales - April, 2017: Prices, Inventory rise; sales moderate slightly.

Sunday Jul 16th, 2017

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Toronto - May 3, 2017 - Realtors® in Toronto and the GTA / Greater Toronto Area have released the April, 2017 residential sales statistics via their monthly MarketWatch publication showing 11,630 properties were sold through the Toronto Real Estate Board’s MLS®, off 3.2% versus April 2016.

While this represents yet another very strong month for residential sales in Toronto and the GTA, some people may be taking a “wait and see” approach after new rules were introduced by the Ontario government - notably a new tax on purchases made by foreign buyers. The Toronto Real Estate Board issued a [generally welcoming] response to those changes here.

Tight Inventory Eases...Slightly

Further, while the TREB report notes that “Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® entered 33.6 per cent more new listings into TREB's MLS® System in April 2017, at 21,630, compared to the same month in 2016”, what’s interesting is that the actual Total Active Listings figure was just 3% higher than it was at the same time last year [12,926 versus 12,554].

Regardless, the fact that the historically low inventory levels have seen any relief is encouraging. With the modest drop in the number of sales in April and the modest increase in inventory Buyers are enjoying a little more selection and, therefore, less competition and pressure.

Last month, the Indicated Forward Inventory [Active Listings Divided by Monthly Sales] stood at about 3 weeks. Based on the April report it's up to 4.8 weeks. A step in the right direction, but still incredibly low by historical standards. A year ago it was just shy of 4 1/2 weeks. Three years ago - April, 2014 - "Inventory" was 8.47 weeks.

Toronto & GTA Average Home Prices Continue Ascent

The inventory and sales figures noted above have had, however, little impact on sales prices thus far. The overall average sales price for those 11,630 homes sold in April was $920,791, up 24.5% from last April’s $739,762. The average Days on Market [DOM] was 9 in April, “40% faster” than last April’s 15 DOM.

Looking at the numbers for specific home types, sales of Detached homes within Metropolitan Toronto “The 416” area code - were down 8.7% to 1,268 units at an average sale price of $1,578,542, up 25.2%. All figures are year-over-year comparisons unless otherwise noted.

In the balance of the Greater Toronto Area - “The 905” area code - 4,447 Detached homes sold, off 4.1%, at an average sale price of $1,098,827, up 24.5%.

Condo Apartment sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System remained strong with 2,148 units selling in Toronto in April, up 8%, at an average price of $578,280, up 32.3%. The rest of the GTA saw 865 Condo Apartments sell, up 6.9%, at an average price of $449,792, up 31%.

Sales of Freehold Town and Semi-Detached homes were off 13.2% in Toronto, and off about 7.5% in the balance of the GTA…though price growth for these home types remained very robust, up anywhere from 22% to more than 30%…likely because of demand for their lower price point versus Detached homes. Please click the “Full Report” link below for more specifics.

It should be pointed out that, while one month does not a trend make, this one bears monitoring: the selling price of Freehold [e.g. non-Condo] homes in "The 905" fell month-over-month from March to April. That's unusual in the midst of the Spring market...

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua sums up April’s market activity: “The fact that we experienced extremely strong growth in new listings in April means that buyers benefitted from considerably more choice in the marketplace. It is too early to tell whether the increase in new listings was simply due to households reacting to the strong double-digit price growth reported over the past year or if some of the increase was also a reaction to the Ontario government's recently announced Fair Housing Plan.”

The TREB report also notes that, with most sales being reported on “business days”, some consideration/adjustment should also be made for the fact that Easter fell in April this year whereas last year it fell in March.

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To read the full TREB MarketWatch report, click here, and for a complete Archive of TREB MarketWatch reports back to 1996, click here, then scroll down to the "Archive" link at the bottom of the page.

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