September, 2021 Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: Chronic Inventory Constrains Activity; Prices Up Again

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September, 2021 Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: Chronic Inventory Constrains Activity; Prices Up Again



Toronto, Ontario, October 5, 2021 - The Toronto Real Estate Board’s president, Kevin Crigger, released the monthly statistical update, MarketWatch, this morning. The publication details marketChart - 2021-09 Toronto & GTA Home Sales YoY Summary activity reported by member Realtors® through the Board’s MLS® systems across TRREB’s Market area which includes Metropolitan Toronto, the rest of The GTA, The Greater Golden Horseshoe, and several points beyond including Prince Edward County, Belleville & Hastings County, Grey County, and so on.


As usual, as the market moved from the Dog Days of Summer into the “Fall Market" - historically second only to Spring in terms of market activity - the level of action in the market picked up and while that activity level fell significantly short of last September’s levels, it was still the third-best Chart - 2021-09 Toronto & GTA Home Sales & Average Price by Major Home TypeSeptember on record in terms of sales volume. The average sale price rose compared to both August and to the year earlier period. All figures quoted herein our year-over-year comparisons unless otherwise specifically noted.

Overall, 9,046 home sales were reported through the MLS® system, down 18%, at an average selling price of $1,136,280, up 18.3%. Sales activity was down significantly for all major Freehold home types across TRREB’s market area;  condo Apartments bucked that trend, rising in all areas. Average selling price was up for all of the major home types including condo apartments across the market area.

See the very bottom of this post for a chart on Average Toronto & GTA Home Prices dating back to 1975. If only hindsight weren't so damn "2020"...!

Specific Numbers by Type of Home

Metropolitan Toronto saw 895 sales of detached homes reported, off 22.6%, at an average selling price of $1,778,928, up 19.5%. The balance of TRREB’s market area - generally referred to as "TheChart - 2021-09 Toronto & GTA Home Sales Historic Annual & Monthly Stats 905" (area code) - had 3,013 Detached sales reported, off 31.1%, at an average selling price of $1,451,471, up 31.4%.

Sales of Condominium Apartments in Metro Toronto were up 16% to 1,792 units at an average selling price of $744,730, up 8.5%. The rest of The GTA saw 872 condo Apartments sell, up 7.3%, averaging $634,111, up 18%.

Chronic Inventory…

It appears likely that the sales activity was off significantly year-over-year because of a lack of inventory: the number of total active listings was down 49.4% versus last September to 9,191 homes available for sale. The less indicative, in our opinion, "New Listings" figure was off 34% to 13483. 

Lack of housing inventory in Toronto and the GTA has been an issue for a long, long time, even prompting calls from some for a more streamlined permit and development approval process. It's possible that it's simply a matter of "gridlock" in the marketplace with sellers looking for still-higher prices and/or fearing they’ll have nowhere to move to should they sell their present home. The results are the same though: demand far outstripping Supply resulting in Rising prices. 

Taking that total active listings figure and dividing it by the month's sales gives us an "Indicated Forward Inventory" figure of just one month: that remains historically low. It also fuels acute frustration in the market on the part of both buyers and their agents as multiple-offer situations persist in many areas, particularly within the low-rise sector. Competition for Bungalows can be downright fierce in many neighbourhoods, particularly in the “mainstream” price points.

Quotable from the Report...

Jason Mercer, TRREB Chief Market Analyst: “Price growth in September continued to be driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes. However, competition between buyers for condo apartments has picked up markedly over the past year, which has led to an acceleration in price growth over the past few months as first-time buyers reentered the ownership market. Look for this trend to continue.”

Kevin Crigger, TRREB President: “Demand has remained incredibly robust throughout September with many qualified buyers who would buy a home tomorrow provided they could find a suitable property. With new listings in September down by one third compared to last year, purchasing a home for many is easier said than done. The lack of housing supply and choice has reached a critical juncture. Bandaid policies to artificially suppress demand have not been effective. This is not an issue that can be solved by one level of government alone. There needs to be collaboration federally, provincially, and locally on a solution.”

Not surprisingly given the level of demand (driven, at least in part, by the low level of mortgage interest rates) and the  lack of supply, homes sold "12.5% faster" at 14 days on Market compared to 16 a year earlier.

Hope you’re having a great fall despite the less than ideal weather of late! Thank-you, once again, for stopping by.


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