November, 2013

Toronto Real Estate Market Update October 2013

October marked the fifth consecutive month in which reported sales of residential properties have outpaced the same month in 2013. Since June the greater Toronto market place has produced 31,049 property sales. During the same period last year only 25,987 properties were reported sold. This represents an increase of over 5000 property sales or 19.2 percent. October’s results were a carbon copy of this 4 month period. 8000 properties were reported sold. An increase of 19.2 percent compared to the 6,713 properties reported sold in October 2012. October’s results clearly have dispelled any notion that the recent increase in sales activity in the greater Toronto area was an aberration.

Previous market updates posited that the recent increase in sales activity may have been due to a perceived fear that mortgage interest rates were climbing higher. Increases in interest rates combined with the rising average sale price for Toronto properties would make home ownership unaffordable for a large number of potential buyers, in particular first time buyers. During the month of October mortgage interest rates actually came down. Five year fixed rates at 3.49 percent are now available. Since rates are not now anticipated to increase anytime soon, Toronto’s strong resale market is not likely to abate and will continue into 2014. The increasing cost of purchasing a house in Toronto and perhaps the intervention of the Federal Minister of Finance are the only factors likely to curb the current strong market.

Adding to these strong market conditions is the lack of available properties for sale. In October 13,110 new listings were delivered to the resale market place. This is a decline of 4.2 percent compared to the 13,685 delivered in 2012. Heading into November only 18,557 properties were available to buyers in the greater Toronto area. Last year there were 20,737, a decline of 10.5 percent. Interestingly sales of semi-detached homes declined by 2.4 percent in the Toronto market place. This decline was not due to demand, but to supply. This is reflected by the fact that in October the average sale price for semi-detached house sales in Toronto increased by 11.7 percent, almost the equivalent of the increase in the average sale price of detached homes (12.4 percent).

May of this year established the highest average sold price in the greater Toronto area at $ 540,544. October came very close to matching that achievement. The average sale price for all properties sold was $539,058, a 7.4 percent increase compared to the average sale price of $502,127 produced in October 2012. The average sale price for detached homes in the City of Toronto came in at $873,509. Semi-detached homes were a little less expensive at $642,112. Unfortunately there is not much supply for buyers to choose in the case of semi-detached homes. In Toronto’s central core area the cost of a detached house was $1,369,135, this is slightly off from the $1,397,683 it cost to by a similar type house in September.

Generally high end, luxury home sales (properties having a sale price of $ 1 Million or more) continued the improvement witnessed in September. In October 550 properties were reported sold in this category. This compares very favourably to the 378 sold in October 2012, and the 371 sold in October 2011. An increase of approximately 50 percent. 90 of these high end sales exceeded $ 2 Million. 8 of these 90 reported sales were condominium apartments, the rest were detached homes. No semi-detached property sales exceeded $ 2 Million.

Condominium apartment sales have continued to do well in the second half of 2013. In October condominium apartment sales exceeded the results of the overall market. Sales increased by 20.4 percent in the City of Toronto compared to last year. The increase in sales was accompanied by an increase in average sale prices. In October the average sale price of a condominium apartment was $ 384,441, an increase of 7.2 percent. Notwithstanding the improvement in condominium sales, they still take longer to sell than other types of properties, averaging 33 days in the in the City of Toronto. Overall sales in the greater Toronto market place (including condominium apartments) were achieved in 27 days. Sales were much faster for various housing types and various areas of the City. For example sales of semi-detached homes in the eastern trading districts took place in only 13 days. Sales of these types of homes were even faster in the central districts, coming in at an astounding 12 days. Condominium apartment sales brought the overall average for days-on-market to 27 days.

Looking forward more of the same can be expected in November and December, with of course, the seasonal adjustment coming to play. There is simply no economic change that is anticipated that might cause the current market conditions to change.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage

Green Home Checklist

Buying a New Home?

What to look for when selecting your new house


  • If it is a newly constructed home, look for recognized green building labels like LEED® for homes, Energystar, Energuide, GreenHouse Certified Construction or R-2000 to ensure the house was built to perform above and beyond building code requirements.
  • If buying an existing home, request an energy audit by a certified evaluator.
  • How big is the house? The best green homes have just enough space and no more!


  • Look for houses located in communities that offer many amenities at your doorstep. You will save money, gas and time.
  • Is the house located in close proximity to your place of work? Can you walk to work? Is it near public transit? Is the neighbourhood cyclist and pedestrian friendly?


  • Are plumbing fixtures water-efficient? Does it have low volume or dual flush toilets?
  • Does the house have a tankless water heater solution?
  • Is waste-water or run-off water harvested and reused for non-potable uses? Is the outdoor environment landscaped to efficiently use irrigation water?


  • Does it take advantage of any renewable energy technique?
  • Does the house make good use of natural light?
  • Are lighting fixtures energy-efficient and using compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED bulbs?
  • Are the included standard fixtures and appliances Energy Star compliant?
  • Does the house have high performance windows that prevent air leakage, eliminate moisture damage and provide better insulation?
  • Look for high efficiency furnace that will burn less fuel more efficiently, reducing both heating costs and GHG emissions.

 Sustainable Materials

  • Are the materials used in construction or finishing of the house such as cabinets, floors and furniture made from renewable resources? Do they have a high recycled content? Have the products been sourced locally
  • Is the wood used in the house FSC certified?

Indoor Environmental Materials

  • Are the flooring, paint and other finishes non toxic with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
  • Is the house equipped with Heat Recovery Ventilators which help control the moisture and humidity in the air?


  • Does it have a garden to provide some food supply?
  • Does it have a green roof?


Greening your Existing House

  •  Conduct an energy audit to identify the best opportunities to save and improve your energy efficiency
  • Insulate the attic, electric outlets, pot lights, basement and crawl space. About 20% of energy costs come from heat loss in those areas
  • Install fireplace draft stoppers, attic door covers and dryer vent seals that open only when your dryer is in use
  • Substitute your furnace with a high efficient one
  • Keep doors and windows airtight by weather-stripping and caulking to avoid air leakage
  • Install thermal drapes to decrease heat exchange through windows
  • Replace existing light fixtures and bulbs with modern and energy efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) and LED bulbs
  • Take advantage of daylight harvesting, timers, dimmers and motion sensors
  • Install Energy Star appliances where possible
  • Install a Heat Recovery Ventilator and take advantage of fresher air inside the house
  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce energy costs when you are away or at night when you are sleeping
  • Repair plumbing leaks and conserve water by selecting water-efficient plumbing products like faucets, shower heads and low flow toilets
  • Choose natural or sustainable flooring products like FSC certified hardwood floors and non-off-gassing carpeting made from sustainable materials
  • Consider buying green power from companies such as Bullfrog Power
  • Become energy independent by installing a renewable energy system in your house such as solar photovoltaic system or a domestic solar hot water system
  • Install a smart meter to help you track your energy usage
  • When renovating, use recycled materials such as Ecopaints and other low VOC materials
  • Install a recycling centre in the kitchen


Provided by the Canada Green Building Council


About the Canada Green Building Council – Greater Toronto Chapter

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) is a non-profit national organization formed to accelerate the design and construction of green buildings in Canada. The Council’s objective is to work with its partners in government and the private sector to accelerate the “mainstream adoption of green building principles, policies, practices, standards and tools.”

The Canada Green Building Council – Greater Toronto Chapter (CaGBC-GTC) was the first Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council. It is comprised of leading individuals from government, the building industry, suppliers and professionals, altogether representing the various segments of the design and building industry.

Together, the CaGBC and the Greater Toronto Chapter symbolize the broad interests that are necessary to come together and motivate change in the built environment.