June is usually the tail end of the ‘spring market’; we often see a dramatic decrease in activity after the middle of the month. Not so this year! June sales were up 15.4% over June 2013, to 10,180 transactions. The number of new listings (i.e. fresh on the market in June) was up by 8.3% over last June, but the number of available, ‘active’ listings was down 6.8%. That kept up the competition among buyers, driving the average sale price up by 7.4%.
I don’t mind that average increase, as it shows equity growth for homeowners above inflation, but likely doesn’t price out too many buyers (probably only the marginal ones – who should perhaps take a bit more time to organize their finances).
In my last couple of Market Reviews I have commented on the late start to the spring market, and predicted a busy summer. That has been the case, so far. I don’t usually reference mid-month data from TREB, but I think that it’s warranted this time. At mid-July sales were up 11.6% year-over-year. New listings were up 9.7% – not quite enough to keep up with demand. The average sale price was up 8%.
So, with an active market through summer, we may see a bit of catch-up. With increased supply and satisfied buyers (i.e. out of the market after their summer purchase) we *may* see an easing of the relentless upward pressure the market has borne over the last few years. I doubt that one busy summer can ease the years-long log-jam of buyers in the Toronto market, but it could be a great start.
We’ll probably see a *bit* of a slowdown in August – Realtors need a break, too – then September will be busy again. If the supply can inch upwards and stay up we’ll be in good shape. There were 20,686 active listings in June. If the market can generate – and sustain – closer to 23,000 or 24,000 listings for a few months the market could achieve the liquidity we need to allow folks to sell and buy in a timely manner. I’m not holding my breath, but we can hope….