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April-May 2013 Market Review

June 7th, 2013 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

This spring has been super busy for me, so I have been remiss in my reporting duties. I am (once again) combining two months into one post.

April

TREB reported 9,811 sales in April, 2013, which was a slight dip in volume of 2% compared to April, 2012. At the same time, the average sale price was up 2%, to $526,335. I call that a ‘flat’ market – edging up only about the same amount as inflation, thus keeping home prices affordable. TREB’s apples-to-apples profile, the HPI Composite Benchmark Price (which makes corrections for different home types, and smooths the average) was up by 2.9 – above inflation, but in line with wage growth. Again, homes in Toronto are staying affordable.

Interestingly, TREB also noted (as I have recently) that the condo segment is showing signs of strength. The volume of sales was down a touch in April (-1.3%), but the average selling price was up 5.6%, which I consider to be significant – but also reasonable. So, the sky remains firmly in place. 😉

The number of new listings increased by 10.9%, and total active listings on the TREB MLS were up 13.5% over 2012. This is good news for buyers, as it has been the frustratingly short supply of good houses that has caused ‘bidding wars’ and price escalation over the last few years.

May

May 2013 saw 10,182 sales which, although 3.4% fewer sales than 2012, is still a very impressive number. The average price was $542,174 – up by 5.4% over last year. I like a 5-7% annual increase: it’s above inflation, so it indicates real capital appreciation, but it doesn’t cause price escalation out of buyers’ ability to keep up. So, we’re in my happy zone. 🙂

The volume of condo sales was down 6.4% in the 416, but the average price edged up by just 1.2% (again, I’d call that ‘flat’: not up, not down), to $372,768. The HPI was up by 2.8%, which is in line with April’s 2.9.

My Thoughts…

Overall, we are seeing ongoing stability in the Toronto real estate market. I have noticed a slight loosening up – e.g. less intense competition – over the last couple of months, which is most likely a reflection of the slightly increased supply of houses for sale. After a decent supply increase in April, May showed 0.7% more new listings (over May 2012, not over the previous month), and a 10.8% increase in total listings. to 22,677 ‘for sales’. As I noted in this blog post, that’s moving into line with the kind of supply we were used to during the busy markets (spring and fall) before the recession.  If we can maintain a stable supply of houses on the market, the ‘log jam’ that I have long lamented may finally ease up, which would enhance the long-term sustainability of the market.

 

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