November, 2020

Toronto Real Estate Market Update – October 2020

It was no surprise that October’s resale market results continued the record pace that began in June. Reported sales hit a new high in October, with 10,563 residential properties trading hands during the month, a 25 percent increase compared to last year.  Not only were sales volume at record levels, but average sale prices also continued their steady upward march. Last October, which was a strong month, 8,445 properties were reported.

This October there was also a sharp rise in the average sale price. Last October the average price for all properties sold was $851,877. This year the average sale price increased by almost 14 percent to $968,318. Depending on the location the average sale price was even higher. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $1,025,925. This number is startling when it is remembered that it includes 1,438 condominium apartment sales or 40 percent of the 3,514 properties that sold in the City.

The Toronto and area residential market is now all about fragmentation, a phenomenon driven by the pandemic and the psychological and physical impact that it has had on the residential market, both locally and throughout North America. People’s desire for more space, coupled with technological advances that allow people to work remotely, have untethered buyers from dense, crowded urban regions, allowing them to move to new marketplaces. That movement is clearly reflected in the October data.

There were 3,514 properties reported sold in the City of Toronto, (including condominium apartments). That represented a 6.6 percent increase compared to the 3,295 that sold last year. In the 905 region of greater Toronto, 7,049 were sold in October. Last year only 5,196 properties were reported sold in the same month. The year-over-year increase in the number of sales in the 905, namely 36 percent, dwarfs the increase in sales in the City of Toronto. Clearly, buyers were active in Toronto’s 905 region. No doubt a large part of those buyers were former City of Toronto condominium apartment dwellers looking for ground-level properties.

The exodus to the suburbs and the 905 region is no more evident than the impact it has had on both the condominium apartment and rental markets. In October, 1,438 condominium apartments were reported sold in the City of Toronto. Last year 1,575 were sold. This decline of 8.5 percent is one of the first declines we have witnessed in more than 10 years. Condominium apartments have been Toronto’s only affordable alternative. Detached and semi-detached properties, given their stratospheric increases in average sale prices, have been beyond the financial reach of most buyers, especially first-time buyers.

Declining sales usually mean declining average sale prices, unless the decline in sales is due to a decline in inventory. Unfortunately, condominium apartment supply has skyrocketed. In October, 4,494 new listings came to market, bringing the total available inventory at month end to 5,719 condominium apartments. By comparison last October only 2,213 new listings came to market, 50 percent fewer than this year. At the end of October last year there were only 2,098 condominium apartments available for sale, 63 percent fewer than this year. It is not surprising therefore that the average sale price for condominium apartments, namely $668,161, was almost 1 percent less than a year ago. Rentals of condominium apartments are suffering the same fate, with rising inventories and declining monthly rental rates.

Detached and semi-detached property sales were robust in October, increasing by 20 and 30 percent respectively as compared to last year. The average sale price for detached properties increased by more than 11 percent and semi-detached by only 5 percent, to $1,470,857, and $1,154,087 respectively in the City of Toronto.

It should be noted that the high-end of the market has been performing exceptionally well. Across the greater Toronto area, 488 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold in October. In 2019, only 254 were reported sold in this category, a year-over-year increase of 92 percent. The majority of these sales were ground level properties, with only 20 condominium apartments falling into this category.

As we move towards the end of 2020, without any anticipated change to the economic and psychological conditions that have given rise to the exceptional, though fragmented market that we have experienced for the last five months, all expectations are that it will continue, particularly if interest rates stay at their historically low rates, and if governments keep the pandemic damaged economy liquid. The fragmentation will continue to see strong demand in the 905 region and in the secondary markets surrounding the greater Toronto area. We can expect condominium apartment sales and price pattern so clear in October to continue: both sales and average sale prices will continue to decline while inventory levels will approach historic highs. 

Collingwood Real Estate Market Update – October 2020

The Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay once again set record highs for the number of sales in the region.

The unrelenting pace and demand for housing generated a substantial 65.2 % increase over October 2019 with an impressive 309 sales reported vs 187 sales for the same period last year. Only 263 new listings came to market in October 2020 compared to 320 last October. This represented a 17.8 % decrease year over year and clearly illustrated the ongoing supply crunch the region has been experiencing. The result of sales increasing and fewer new listings coming to market drove active listings down 57.3 %, from 675 at month’s end in October 2019 to a meagre 288 in October 2020.

Months of Inventory was at a low of 0.9 months, further evidence of the historically low supply and very tight market conditions. Given the insufficient number of properties for sale vs the ongoing, frenzied demand, along with the appetite for many people with big budgets to purchase higher priced homes, it was no surprise that the average sale price in the Western Region reached a record high of $739,990 in October 2020, boasting a 29.4 % increase over last year’s already lofty average sale price. This trend of extraordinarily high sale prices combined with the persistent strong demand propelled the dollar volume for October up 113.9 % over last year. The Sales to New Listings Ratio doubled from a balanced market of 58.4 in October 2019 to 117.5, a true testimony that the red hot Seller’s market the Region has been experiencing this year was still at play. Buyers on the other hand were feeling the pressure, with the median days on market reported at 18 days.

Buyers were often forced to make quick decisions and submit unconditional offers while competing in multiple offer situations. With the pandemic creating such unprecedented conditions this year, the question that remains on everyone’s mind is how much sizzle is left in this market. There are forces currently at play such as low interest rates creating opportunity and desire for many to purchase in the Western Region of Southern Georgian Bay, counterbalanced by anxiety of what stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus may bring. We will have to wait and see how people react in these precarious times.

Prince Edward County Real Estate Market Update – October 2020

Despite the fact that we are entering the darker colder days of fall, and the fact that October has seen some cooler than normal days, neither were reflected in the pace and activity of the real estate market in Prince Edward County (“the County”). Rather, according to statistics made available by the Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® (“the Quinte Board”), October’s market performance is further confirmation of shifting priorities favouring communities like the County which offer more space, a sense of peace and refuge, fresh air, open spaces, and generally better and healthier lifestyle at more affordable prices. As stated in earlier reports, this evolving hierarchy of choices is made ever more available by the increased use of, and reliance on technology in the workplace, giving buyers the flexibility to invest in property where they really want to live and spend their time.

Even after the remarkable performance of the County real estate market over the last few months, October’s numbers continue to astound. To start with, sales in the County more than doubled year over. Specifically, 51 properties changed hands in October 2019, but that number ballooned to 103 this last month, amounting to an almost 102% increase. Year to date sales have swollen to 752 compared to 489 at this time last year, an increase of 54% year over year.

While according to the Quinte Board new listings increased almost 11%, that does not even come close to keeping up with demand and the pace of sales. 114 properties did come onto the market compared with 103 one year ago, bringing the year to date total to 1101, which unfortunately trails last year’s figures, if only by 1% , but the impact on supply is real. At month’s end only 290 properties were listed by the Quinte Board as being available for sale compared to 592 one year ago. In other words, the County has less than half the property inventory this year than it did last at this time.

In addition, those properties that sold, did so at a faster pace taking on average 81 days to sell compared to 87 days one year ago. A more meaningful statistic is median days on market which takes the significance of outlier sales out of the equation and measures the midpoint of duration on the market prior to selling. That number came in at 21 days. And compared to last year’s figures in October, namely median days on market of 48, properties are selling over 56% faster than they did one year ago.

Needless to say, and coming as no surprise, when demand so far outstrips supply, as it seems to be in the County real estate market, significant pressure is applied to prices. According to the Quinte Board, the average sale price of the properties that sold in the County in October came in at $584,887, creeping ever closer to $600,000 as an average sale price. The reported number constitutes an increase of almost 27% over last year’s posted average sale price in October of $461,333. The median or midpoint sales price also reflected a hefty increase, calculated at $500,000 compared to $420,000, an increase of over 19% year over year.

Despite the fact that Ontario appears to be experiencing a second wave of the corona virus, and the full brunt of the collateral economic damage caused by the pandemic has yet to be fully determined and factored into economic modelling or forecasts, the fundamental underpinnings of the County real estate market continue to look very strong and positive. Even if some early weakness in urban condominium markets may be detected, and some calming of the generally frenzied real estate markets experienced over the summer across Ontario may be discernable, there is no indication that the factors contributing to the surge in demand and growth in interest in County real estate is either temporary or will diminish any time soon. All in all, indicators point to the conclusion that the quantum shift in this real estate market is here to stay.