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Summer 2012 Market Review

September 13th, 2012 Posted by Interest Rates, Market Commentary No Comment yet

A basic fact of life in the Toronto real estate market is that summer is a much slower time of year than spring or fall.  The weather warms up, and after a hectic ‘spring market’ folks – including Realtors – naturally turn their attention to summer activities. For parents, the kids are home/off to camp, etc., which is a huge change. The bottom line is that fewer people think real estate in the summer. (Winter is also slow – no surprise there!)

Nonetheless, we still see thousands of transactions every summer. This past July there were 7,570 sales, a slight drop of 1.5% from July 2011. However, fewer sales did not indicate a declining market: prices were actually up 4%. Interestingly, the decline in volume seems to have been most influenced by downtown condo sales; the rest of the GTA saw an increase in volume. It’s possible that slightly tighter mortgage rules introduced earlier this year had a bit of an effect – not to mentioned the incessant doom and gloom in the media about the Toronto condo market. Either way, I don’t really see a long-term downside to either effect: moderation in the market may enhance sustainability, which is a good thing.

In August TREB posted 6,418 sales, a volume decline of 12.5% from  7,330 in August 2011. However, with new listings dropping by 5.5%  (also typical of the summer months) the supply of available houses remained tight; the average sale price was up to $479,095, an increase of 6.5% over August 2011. Last month the GTA-wide increase in prices was driven mostly by a 15% rise in the average price of a detached house in Toronto. Tight supply does that!

The ‘fall market’ typically opens up after Labour Day, and this year is no exception. We have already seen a rapid increase in the number of available listings, and as the weeks roll on we’ll see the sales start to increase – both in volume and, I believe, in price. I’ll keep you posted. 😉 In the meantime, if you want to buy or sell this fall you should get started soon and take advantage of current conditions. Call me today and let’s get to work!

 

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