August, 2015

Toronto Real Estate Market Update – June 2015

Once again the Toronto residential resale market posted new records for market performance. The first was the 11,992 properties reported sold, the highest number of properties reported sold for the month of June since the Toronto Real Estate Board began tracking Toronto area sales. June’s reported sales were 18.4 percent greater than the 10,132 properties reported sold in June 2014.


There is no doubt that historically low mortgage interest rates continue to be the driver of Toronto’s residential resale market place. Low interest rates and tight inventories, particularly in the City of Toronto have been responsible for many of the records that have been established in 2015.



Despite the high volume of sales in June, a new record for the monthly average sale price was not established. The average sale price came in at $639,184. Although this monthly average sale price was more than 12 percent higher than the average sale price for June 2014, it did not exceed May’s average sale price of $ 649,800, which remains the record for the greater Toronto area. The average sale price for the City of Toronto came in at $682,264, almost 7 percent higher than the average sale price for the greater Toronto area. This number would have been substantially higher if it did not include the numerous condominium apartment sales which form the bulk of properties sold in the City of Toronto. Condominium apartments (see below) are selling at prices 38 percent lower than the average sale price for all properties sold in the City of Toronto.


In June all properties (on average) sold in 19 days. Last year it took 22 days for all properties to be reported sold. Interestingly properties sold faster in May. In May it took only 18 days for all sales to take place. Nonetheless 19 days remains a blistering pace, especially when it is considered that these sales include 2,700 condominium apartments, which are selling at a less robust pace than freehold properties. As we have seen in previous months in 2015, the pace of sales varies depending on trading district and housing type. As has been the case all year, the eastern districts remain the most robust. In June all detached properties in the eastern districts sold in 11 days at sales prices averaging 104 percent of their asking prices. Semi-detached sales were even faster. All semi-detached properties in the eastern districts, and there were 189 of them, sold in an eye-popping 8 days and for sale prices averaging 106 percent of the asking prices. These are unprecedented numbers.


Although not as frothy, sales of detached and semi-detached homes in the City of Toronto’s central districts were also dramatic. In central Toronto the average price for a detached house came in at $1,664,694. For the City of Toronto the average price was $1,051,912, both numbers establishing new benchmarks for detached property sales. Not only were these average sale prices unprecedented, but sales took place in 19 and 16 days respectively, and for sale prices 101 and 102 percent of their asking prices. It is clear that notwithstanding the steep rise of prices for detached and semi-detached homes in the central districts, Toronto buyers have an insatiable appetite for these housing forms.


Condominium apartment sales established a record of their own. Condominium apartment sales were up an amazing 21.3 percent compared to June of 2014. In June 1,906 apartments were reported sold in the City of Toronto (416 area). These sales represented 43 percent of all sales in the City of Toronto for the month of June. Although the volume of sales was up dramatically, it was not matched by the increase in the average sale price. The average sale price for condominium apartments came in at $418,599, up 7 percent compared to June 2014, but is still considerably lower than average sale prices for freehold properties.


Although more condominium apartments are selling and at higher prices, they are not selling as fast as detached and semi-detached homes, nor are they selling for prices exceeding list prices. In June all condominium apartments in the City of Toronto sold in 27 days, 8 days slower than freehold properties. In addition all apartments sold for only 98 percent of their asking prices. As was mentioned earlier, inventory levels continue to be a problem for buyers. In June 17,746 new listing became available in the greater Toronto area. This was an increase of 6.7 percent compared to the 16,633 that became available in 2014. Notwithstanding this increase, entering July there are 13.1 percent fewer available properties for buyers to purchase than there were last year at this time. Last year there were 20,686 available properties, this year there are only 17,972. Translated into months of inventory we see that there are 2.0 months of inventory for the greater Toronto area and 2.2 months for the City of Toronto, The 5,208 condominium apartments for sale account for the slightly higher months of inventory in the city of Toronto. In both cases, however, 2.0 and 2.2 months of inventory reflect strong seller markets. Looking forward I anticipate a small pull back in the market in July. This is consistent with historical seasonal cycles. Last July the market retracted by about 10 percent compared to June. Expect a similar retraction when July’s numbers are reported. One thing is clear, the annual record for most reported sales is well on its way to being shattered in 2015.


Collingwood/Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Market Update – June 2015


Residential sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® came in well above year-ago levels in June 2015.


The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® comprises two distinctive markets. We are reporting on activity for the Western Region which includes Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands.


The total number of sales for June 2015 is 275, up a strong 22% 2014 (225 sales). The total number of sales YTD is 1145 units, showing a 20% increase from 2014 (952 sales). The total sales dollar volume for June 2015 was $89,117,146 up 23% from 2014 ($72,196,799). The total sales dollar volume YTD was $384,477,410 up 27% from 2014 ($303,610,407). Dollar volumes reached new all-time records in June!


The average price of a residential home sold in the Western District was $323,467 in June. This was an increase of 1.2 per cent from a year earlier.


The number of new residential listings in June 2015 was 442 units, falling 9% per cent from a year earlier (485 for 2014). The total number of listings YTD is 2516, down by 14% from 2014 (2917).


As an overview …. Here are some interesting highlights from the recent CMHC Housing Market Outlook for Ontario for 2015/16, with regard to resale homes;


  • Demand for resale homes will hold up better versus new construction demand over the forecast horizon.


  • Modest wage growth and eroding affordability will support demand for less expensive resale homes.


  • Demand for single detached homes will ease as mortgage carrying costs continue to rise.


  • Ontario existing home sales could be closer to the higher end of range if employment grows faster than expected.


  • Alternatively, sales could be closer to the lower end of the range should affordability erode faster than expected.


CMHC has this to say on Economic Forecasts for Ontario 2015/16;


  • After a period of modest growth during the post-recession period, Ontario’s economy will gain momentum and outpace growth in the rest of Canada for 2015 and 2016.


In closing, as we enjoy a stable, low risk real estate environment, the Southern Georgian Bay communities are poised for a great summer! There is an abundance of special events, theatre, outdoor activities, festivals, farmer’s markets, hiking trails, beach visits and so much more to enjoy!

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – June 2015

As we finally move into the warmer months and watch the picturesque landscape of Prince Edward County (“the County”) come to life with the fields, orchards and vineyards beginning to show signs of the bounty for which the area is renown, the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”) has produced its statistics for the month of June, confirming that the real estate market in the County this year is playing out very much as it did last year at midpoint in the season, with remarkably consistent buying and selling behaviour as well as property listing and inventory trends. Generally speaking sales are proceeding at a pace that is both strong and steady, reflective of a solid and enduring market that is neither volatile nor fickle, but rather rooted in excellent and established fundamentals of value associated with the area.




Further to this, according to the Enhanced Statistics Statistical Query Report prepared by the Quinte Board for the month of June, 71 properties sold across the County, 2 more than last June when 69 properties were reported as sold, constituting a moderate 3% increase. As indicated year to date sales are closely mirroring those of last year at this point with 268 so far compared to 271 last year at the half way mark, a virtual dead heat. The Quinte Board generally, however, which covers a much broader area including Belleville, Brighton, Trenton, Madoc and Marmora amongst other centres continues to report more significant gains over last year’s numbers, reporting a 35% increase in sales Board wide with 448 reported sales this past June compared to 332 the year previous. Year to date numbers also reflect a substantial year over year increase of 20% with 1784 sales thus far compared to 1484 in the first half of 2014. The higher price point in the County may have something to do with this differential as well as the particular economic and demographic trends in the respective areas.


Continuing on with the overall story of stability, listings too are remarkably consistent with last year. According to the Enhanced Statistics prepared by the Quinte Board, 145 new listings came onto the market in the County in June, only one fewer than in June of last year. The year to date picture is no different with a grand total of 920 new properties being listed compared to 918 last year at this time. Not surprisingly then the inventory is virtually the same as it was last year at the end of June with 714 active listings on the market compared to 716 last year, truly a negligible difference. As for the Quinte Board generally, the June report indicated a 3% increase in listings over last year with 765 new properties coming out across the Board compared to 746 last year, with year to date figures reflecting a similar trend and a 4% gain (4423 as compared to 4258 in 2014).


The steady and solid performance of the real estate market in the County is further shored up by a 6% increase in average sale price across the region. In June, the average sale price of a property sold in the County was reported as being $261,556 compared to $245,707 the year previous.


Finally the particular cross-section of properties that sold across the County were sold on average in 97 days which based on this particular sampling is 40% longer than last year when calculations for the month of June established an average of 69 days on the market for properties before selling.


Overall, based on the performance of the property market in the County for the first half of the year, the remainder of the year is likely to play out in similar fashion with no indication of interest rate hikes anywhere on the horizon and general market conditions for the surrounding areas looking relatively stable. The main qualifier appears to be the broader economic climate with some significant ripples being experienced in international markets, particularly in Europe with the Greek monetary crisis, and in China’s equity markets. The extent to which all of this will affect the broader performance of the Canadian economy is still unclear. Global factors aside recent reports continue to show that Canada still has a way to go before its economy is back firing on all cylinders and trade figures are consistently more positive.