Toronto, Ontario, August 5, 2021 - The Toronto Region Real Estate Board published the monthly “MarketWatch” statistical report today revealing - to the surprise of nobody who’s paying any attention to the local residential real estate market - the persistence of an off-balance market which strongly favours sellers. We’d suggest this is unsustainable, but there’s little point in repeating that - particularly given there’s been little change in that long-standing situation.
?In fact, it’s actually deepened as illustrated by the sales volume versus the inventory in terms of both New Listings and the more relevant Total Active Listings (the former includes “re-writes” of listings which, while far less common under current market conditions for obvious reasosn, still skews the overall number to varying degrees while the latter is a “pure” number in that it tells us the current state of inventory regardless of those listings that were terminated and re-written).
The Big Picture
The overall sales volume in July remained well above average for the dog days of summer at 9,390 homes sold, though that was about fifteen percent below last July’s record showing of 11,033 sales as we emerged from the initial shock and awe that was “Wave 1” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall average - meaning all home Types across all of TRREB’s market area - selling price this July was $1,062,256, up 12.6% over last July. Generally speaking, sales volume was down in the low-rise (e.g. homes & townhomes) sector and up in the Condo Apartment sector. Prices were up across the board, though the rise was markedly stronger in the areas surrounding Metropolitan Toronto as opposed to the City itself. All figures herein quoted are year-over-year (YoY) comparisons unless specifically noted otherwise.
Detached Home sales were off 22.3% in Metro Toronto to 1,099 units at an average sell price of $1,633,649, up 5.7%. In “The 905” [area code] - the balance of the GTA - saw 3,271 Detached sales reported, off 27.4%, averaging $1,346,186, up 27% in stark comparison to the increase in T.O. (Just for contrast, the report last July compared to July, 2019 quoted a 47.3% YoY rise, averaging $1,088,559, up 18.5% in the balance of the GTA not including the City.)
Condo Apartment sales in Metro Toronot were up a relatively modest 4.2% to 1,756 units averaging $715,977, up 4.8% and up 17.2% to 858 units at an averale sell of $589,582, up 11.7% in the balance of TRREB’s market area.
Quotable in the Report:
TRREB President Kevin Crigger: “Demand for ownership housing has remained strong despite a pandemic-related lull in population growth. Of specific note is the condominium apartment market, which has seen a marked turn around in 2021 with sales up compared to last year. First-time buyers, many of whom were slower to benefit fromthe initial recovery phase, remain very active in the market place.”
TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer: “The annual rate of price growth has moderated since the early spring, but has remained in the double digits. This means that many households are still competing very hard to reach a deal on a home. This strong upward pressure on home prices will be sustained in the absence of more supply, especially as we see a resurgence in population growth moving into 2022”
The Inventory Problem
As noted above, we favour the Total Active Listings (TAL) figure as opposed to the New Listings figure. TAL was down… ‘way down… in an already tight market… by 35.2% to 9,732 homes available (from 15,018). Ouch. That makes the market that much more frustrating for Buyers and their Realtors®. “New” Listings listings were down 30.7% to 12,551 on the month.
Specifically with respect to 1 storey / Bungalow style homes, I was asked this week if I could find a family a Bungalow for sale in Aurora (which is located in York Region, immediately north of Toronto) in the $1.2 million to $1.7 million range. There's only one. Not suitable. Time to go "Bungalow hunting". Bungalows are in particularly high demand relative to the broader market (as they have been for - literally - years). If you're looking for a single level home (or a "Bungaloft", perhaps), and can't find "it", drop a line. We have other stratagies for finding "off-market" Bungalow sellers - not to mention a substantial database of people who've expressed interest in buying and/or selling Bungalows "in Toronto, The GTA, and Beyond"!
In fact, given that Bungalows are sought largely by matures & "empty nesters" looking to downsize, the lack of available Bungalows is likely - to whatever degree - a contributer to the broader inventory issue itself: "If we can't find something with a Master / Primary Bedroom on the main floor, we ain't sellin' our current house"! Heard it lots of times...
“Forward Inventory” - available for sale versus sales volume - stood at a stubbornly (historically speaking) low of 1.03 months (it was just over 1.5 months twelve months earlier). The “Absorption Rate” is the rate at which the market “absorbs” new inventory in the form of sales [Sales / “New” Listings] .748 at month-end (.583 last July).
Not surprisingly, home sales occurred “11.8% faster” on average at 15 “Listing Days on Market” compared to 17.
Hope you’re enjoying the gorgeous summer weather on those “Backyards and Balconies”… Docks…! Take care & thank-you for reading…
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