March 2015 Market Review
As usual, real estate is much in the news these days. With the oil market correction, the media (and a few others) jumped all over the idea that the real estate market would – obviously! – experience a crash of some sort. The only question seemed to be how big.
Well, with oil seemingly stabilized in the $50-$60 range, the worst of the ‘oil shock’ could be behind us (although I’m not claiming to have a crystal ball…). And, with the exception of a couple of markets in Albert (which are not Toronto), real estate has once again defied the doom-sayers.
Toronto, as usual, showed its strength. According to TREB’s stats for March, 2015, sales volume (number of sales) was up 11%, to 8,940 transactions. New listings edged up 5.5%, but they remain short of demand. The result was a 10% year-over-year increase in the average sale price, to $613,933.
Since averages can sometimes give a bit of a muddled picture, TREB also breaks down sales by type and weights that average. For example, the average price of a detached house was up 15.9%; that has a strong lifting effect on the over-all average for the Board. Balanced against the other housing types, the Index showed a 7.9% increase across the Board (7.8% in the 416).
Still, a roughly 8% increase over last year is hard to keep up with. If you already own real estate, it’s great, but for first-timers it can be hard. That could be why we are starting to see more interest in areas not famous for their hot real estate prices. We know that Leslieville, Riverdale, Swansea and High Park are always going to draw top dollar. But these days we’re seeing hot competition in neighbourhoods like Birch Cliff Heights and Ionview (in Scarborough). There are still areas around town where one can get a great house at a great price.
There are countless people who want to live downtown and are willing to live in small spaces – and Toronto needs them to keep the core vibrant. I don’t want to take anything away from that, and I hope that this apparent shift happening among condo developers, who are starting to offer slightly larger units, is real. But there are loads of other folks who want a low-rise home. You folks shouldn’t be scared away by the average price increases, and don’t be intimidated by the nay-sayers. Real estate markets absolutely do go through corrections from time to time, but there’s no reason to think that Toronto is about to go down the tubes. This is too fantastic a city for that! 😉 The relentless strength of the Toronto real estate market is a testament to the value offered here. Expect prices to continue trending upwards in coming years.