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July 2013 Market Review

August 6th, 2013 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

In last month’s report I mentioned that the early July market seemed to be busier than usual. That apparent activity translated into strong sales volume of 8,544 transactions, up 16% over the same month last year, and – as has been the case for most of the last 10 years – increased prices. The average sale price in the GTA in July was $513,246, up 8% over July 2012.

What really caught my eye about the July numbers was that condo sales were up 10.6%, with prices up 4.1% over last July. I think that’s a sign of solid recover in the condo segment, which has been under plenty of pressure over the last few years.

Although that 8% average price increase is a bit more than I like to see, I’m not surprised: the summer usually produces fewer listings, and with loads of buyers out there the price pressure is to be expected. August is usually one of the slowest months (although not as slow as December is). Nonetheless, I think we should expect the market to continue to steam along, just like it did through July. With 20,514 active listings, we have only slightly more than last year, but that amount reflects an over-all recovery from the  post-recession doldrums. Relatively stable supply, combined with all those buyers out there, should keep activity up. 

We expect a seasonal spike in listings starting in September. Although that could take some of the pressure off, it also draws more buyers into the market. Overall, I’d say that price pressure isn’t going anywhere any time soon. 


June 2013 Market Review

July 17th, 2013 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

June was a typically busy month in the Toronto real estate market. The number of sales reported in the Toronto MLS in June 2013 (9061) was just a shade under last year (9129). The average price ($531,374) increased by a fairly typical 4.7% year-over-year. (Regular readers will know that I consider 5% to be the most common annual increase over the last 10 years or so, with the exception of the very brief dip associated with the recession of late 2008-early 2009 and the subsequent bounce.) The June increase may have been partly spurred by a  6% drop in the number of new listings. That put a bit of constraint on spot supply, but overall the supply of active listings is up over last year. Basically, I’d call it business-as-usual for the last month of the spring market.

As much as we make of the ‘spring market’ – which is definitely characterized by a surge in listings, sales and prices – it’s not that there is no market in the summer. Last July TREB reported 7,570 sales – really only about 1,500 fewer than in the infamously busy month of June. August is slower still, but at 6,418 sales for the month in 2012, there’s still a fair bit of activity through the end of summer.

I mention that because we’re seeing a fair bit of spill-over from the 2013 spring market into the summer. In addition to my own listings and buyers, I see my professional colleagues out working much more than I would usually see in summer. We all know about ‘pent up demand’; for several years it has been confounded by ‘lack up supply’! This year, we could get through July with 20,000 + active listings on the MLS, which could help sustain sales through the summer months. Although there are usually fewer active buyers in the summer (with so many people at the beach, the cottage, the patio – any number of awesome places!), there are enough to take advantage of sustained summer supply.

An active summer market is good for both buyers and sellers. Although sellers might not see the price spikes their neighbours got in the spring, record sale prices still abound. For buyers, take advantage of your peers leaving town for the weekend and go find yourself a great new home! Either way, call me and we’ll get it done right. 😉




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.


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 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.