Toronto, Ontario, December 3, 2021 - TRREB - the Toronto Real Estate Board - today released its monthly MLS® statistical report, “MarketWatch”, detailing residential market activity in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area, and surrounding parts of South-Central Ontario.
Overall there were 9,017 residential sales reported on the month, a 3.3% rise from November, 2020 - somewhat surprising given the persisting inventory issue - at an average sell price of $1,163,323, up another 21.7% - not at all surprising given the persisting inventory issue. All figures reported are year-over-year comparisons, except where otherwise noted.
There were significant area-by -area differences, though: For an update of your own ‘hood, including detailed information on Sold properties, get your own Neighbourhood Update here.
Metro Toronto - “The 416” area code - saw 918 Detached homes reported sold, down 1.2%, at an average sell price of $1,807,983, up 22.3%. In The balance of the Greater Toronto Area - “The 905" - 2,939 Detached houses were reported sold on the month, a 10.2% drop, averaging $1,492,821, up 32.7%. Unbelievable.
The Condominium Apartment group is going crazy: In Metro T.O., 1,981 units sold, up a stunning 44.3%, at an average price of $745,951, up a strong 16.5%. The balance of the GTA had 887 “Condo” sales reported, up an almost impressive thirty-six percent, at an average of $646,211, a little stronger than the Toronto gain at +21.1%.
Quotable in the Report…
TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst, Jason Mercer: “A key difference this year compared to last is how the condo segment continues to tighten and experience an acceleration in price growth, particularly in suburban areas. This speaks to the broadening of economic recovery, with first-time buyers moving back into the market in a big way this year. The condo and townhouse segments, with lower price points on average, will remain popular as population growth picks up over the next two years.”
TRREB’s President, Kevin Crigger: “Governments at all levels must take coordinated action to increase supply in the immediate term to begin addressing the supply challenges of today, and to work towards satisfying growing demand in the future. The GTA remains the primary destination for new immigrants, and is at the centre of the Canadian economy. For far too long governments have focused on short term bandaid policies to artificially suppress demand. Current market activity highlights decisively that these policies do not work, and unless governments work together to cut red tape, streamline the approval processes, and incentivize mid-density housing ongoing housing affordability challenges will escalate. On this point, we commend the City of Toronto for moving forward with initiatives to facilitate the creation of more mid-density home types, including their current consultations on options to encourage more multiplex development across the city.”
Inventory Remains a Problem
OK. Speaking of Inventory... "Supply & Demand 101"... That latter quote is from the Board President. It’s not ours. We're more of an “efficient markets” kinda Group. And the comment about "artificially suppressed demand"… well… artificially low interest rates for a long, long time are more likely a core element of the problem - namely, artificially raising demand [and prices]… to a far greater extent than demand suppression via measures like the foreign buyer tax, etcetera.
We’ve written here a number of times about “empty nesters” not abandoning those nests… because there’s nowhere to go. Nothing else to buy. But it’s not just those “matures”. There are lots of people out there who’d make a move - but are afraid they won’t find something to move to. We’re not sure what the solution is, but we’re pretty sure it’s not government interfering in the markets again. That rarely works and it’s often simply too late. Markets will ultimately correct on their own. But that lack of inventory is having crazy impact on prices as can be seen from the charts. And, as we said last month, “something’s gotta give”.
The old industry adage goes, “When the average family can no longer afford the average home, a correction is inevitable.” Well…??
Total Active Listings - a more relevant figure than “New Listings” in that it’s “purer” - absolutely tanked by 55.9% year-over-year. “Total Actives” stood at just 6,086 at month-end. That’s incredibly low - even for this time of year. Dividing that “Actives” figure by the monthly sales of 9,017 gives us “Indicated Forward Inventory” of two-thirds of a month. About twenty days. By historical standards, that’s ‘way past “tight”. That’s bone dry. “Normal” is 2 to 4 months… Obviously, barring a collapse in demand [possible, but unlikely] or a surge in supply [unlikely, but possible!], you know what that means: Prices higher… still.
Thanks very much once again for stopping by...
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