January 2014 Market Review

January was a bit of a frustrating month in Toronto real estate. The number of active listings declined from 14,231 in January 2013 to 11,903, a decrease of 16.4%. The number of new listings was to 8,822 down a similar amount (16.6%). This exacerbated the on-going shortage of listings that I have mentioned (many times) before. Inevitably, the result was fierce competition among buyers, and an average sale price of $526,528 – a 9.2% spike. 

The 4,135 sales were 2.2% fewer than last year – so surprise there. January is usually a slow-ish month, often due to cold and/or snowy weather. We’ve had that in spades this year, but that’s not the only reason for fewer sales. It’s that cursed supply problem! Once we get more listings, we’ll see less competition – by which I mean maybe three offers on a house, instead of the dozen or more we’ve seen on numerous houses over the last few weeks! With some luck, we’ll see a few opportunities to buy without competition. I’ve just done an update of my blog about bully offers, which you may want to read….

In all seriousness, though, we should see more listings in the coming weeks, just like we always do at this time of year. It may not be enough to make things much better, but it will happen. Ideally, we’d see the recent price appreciation push a few homeowners to sell now and downsize to that condo, or the cottage, or wherever they’re planning to retire to. That would put supply on the market without adding buyers. It may sound like a pipe dream, but a guy can hope! 😉

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