Greater Toronto, Ontario, June 3rd, 2022 - Toronto and GTA Realtors® this morning released the sales stats for the Toronto MLS® home market via their monthly MarketWatch report. It wasn’t all that pretty… depending - of course - whether you’re on the buyer or the seller side of the housing market.
A “Seller’s Market” is generally defined as twenty-eight percent or more of the Active Listings selling in a month. A “Neutral Market” is 24-28%. A “Buyer’s Market” is less than 24% Sales : Active Listings. May’s figure came in at [15,433 / 7,283 =] 42.7% of Active Listings sold. BUT… sales volume was down nearly 40% from last May [7,283 vs. 11,903]. And, while the overall average selling price was up a very respectable 9.4% to $1,212,806, that level was down about $120,000 from the highs of February, 2022 -- a drop of just over nine percent… in one quarter. Hmmm… saw a new meme acronym the other day that I don’t recall having seen before. Had to “Google®” it. “FOOP”: Fear of over-paying.
Note that that drop in the average selling point was more pronounced in “The 905” area surrounding Metro Toronto than it was in the City itself. Durham Region was around -23%. Ouch. Halton Region was -15%. Peel was -14.5%. York Region was -13% or so. Note that those are “overall” figures - meaning all home types across all of TRREB’s market area… the figures are not “Just Bungalows”.
It’s also important to note that sales volume was down twenty percent from that February high… and that February high was down 16.8% from the prior February. There’s an old saying in the real estate world: “When the average family can no longer afford the average home, something’s gotta give.” Looks like we’re well past that point. And the Bank of Canada’s moves on interest rates - which appear to be far from over with many market-watchers looking for a three-quarters-of-a-percent hike at the next meeting - obviously contribute, right along side the trmendous run-up in home prices. Again, Central Banks don’t control mortgage rates… they’re led by bond markets, generally speaking. And below is a chart of the Canadian 5-year bond yield. What’s interesting is that a lot of folks seem to pin the record low rates solely on the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you look at a longer-term chart [the chart below is “Daily”, back to around the start of 2020], clearly we were already on the trajectory with historically low interest rates.
Chart courtesy of TradingView.com
Numbers by Location & Major Home Type
Metro Toronto saw 814 Detached home sales reported, down 35.8%, at an average sell price of $1,914,890, up 11.5%. The balance of the Greater Toronto Area saw 2,552 “Detacheds” sell, a 42.6% tumble, averaging $1,432,951, up 7.8%. All figures herein are year-over-year comparisons unless otherwise noted.
Condo Apartment sales in T.O. totalled 1,264, off 32.5%%, at an average of $793,124, up 10.5%. In the balance of the GTA, 584 units sold, down 29.5%, averaging $722,778… the month’s best-performing group, price-wise, up 19.7%.
Quotable From the Report…
Jason Mercer, TRREB Chief Market Analyst: “Price trends observed over the past three months – both in terms of moderating annual growth rates and the recent month-over-month dips – are in line with TRREB’s forecast for 2022. After a strong start to the year, the current rate tightening cycle has changed market dynamics, with many potential home buyers putting their purchase on hold. This has led to more balance in the market, providing buyers with more negotiating power."
Kevin Crigger, TRREB President: “Bank of Canada rate hikes, including the 50-basis point hike on June 1, are impacting home buyers in the short term. There is now a psychological aspect where potential buyers are waiting for a bottom in price. This will likely continue through the summer. However, as home buyers adjust to higher borrowing costs, housing demand will be supported by extremely low unemployment, high job vacancies, rising incomes and record immigration."
Homes newly listed were - overall - essentially flat at 15,433… up one half of one percent. The more relevant - generally speaking - Total Active Listings came in at 15,433 which represents a 26% jump - good news for Buyers. That gives us a projected “Forward Inventory” [Active Listings / Sales] of a little over two months [2.12]. That’s slightly more than doubled from the year-earlier period. “Absorption Rate” is the rate at which the market “absorbs” new inventory in the form of sales [Sales / New Listings] and stood at .39 compared to .643 …meaning the market’s not “absorbing” that new inventory nearly as quickly as it was last May. Not a huge surprise - we’ve said for a while the market was in an “unsustainable” mode - it was a matter of “when”, as opposed to “if”.
The time it took to sell a home in Toronto and the GTA was 12 “Listing Days on Market”… or “9.1% slower” than a year ago. “Property Days on Market” is the total number of days a property was listed with the same brokerage before selling - was 18, or “20% slower” compared to 15 days. That likely is representative of more listings being canceled and re-written. Historically the primary reason for re-writing a listing would be to reduce the price. Recently that reason’s morphed into a combination of reductions as well as raising the ask when no offers materialized on “offer day” in the case of Seller’s looking for multi-offer situations. Bear in mind, multiple offers are still not uncommon depending on area, home style, price point, etcetera. We’re seeing Bungalows still in relatively high demand across TRREB’s market area as “Matures “ & “Empty Nesters” take advantage of high prices, selling larger homes and downsizing - ideally to the single-storey lifestyle.
As always, thank-you for stopping in! Stay cool ????, drink lots of water ??, and get outside & enjoy the weather ??... before we know it it'll be snowing again!
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