Once again the Toronto residential resale market posted new records for market performance. The first was the 11,992 properties reported sold, the highest number of properties reported sold for the month of June since the Toronto Real Estate Board began tracking Toronto area sales. June’s reported sales were 18.4 percent greater than the 10,132 properties reported sold in June 2014.
There is no doubt that historically low mortgage interest rates continue to be the driver of Toronto’s residential resale market place. Low interest rates and tight inventories, particularly in the City of Toronto have been responsible for many of the records that have been established in 2015.
Despite the high volume of sales in June, a new record for the monthly average sale price was not established. The average sale price came in at $639,184. Although this monthly average sale price was more than 12 percent higher than the average sale price for June 2014, it did not exceed May’s average sale price of $ 649,800, which remains the record for the greater Toronto area. The average sale price for the City of Toronto came in at $682,264, almost 7 percent higher than the average sale price for the greater Toronto area. This number would have been substantially higher if it did not include the numerous condominium apartment sales which form the bulk of properties sold in the City of Toronto. Condominium apartments (see below) are selling at prices 38 percent lower than the average sale price for all properties sold in the City of Toronto.
In June all properties (on average) sold in 19 days. Last year it took 22 days for all properties to be reported sold. Interestingly properties sold faster in May. In May it took only 18 days for all sales to take place. Nonetheless 19 days remains a blistering pace, especially when it is considered that these sales include 2,700 condominium apartments, which are selling at a less robust pace than freehold properties. As we have seen in previous months in 2015, the pace of sales varies depending on trading district and housing type. As has been the case all year, the eastern districts remain the most robust. In June all detached properties in the eastern districts sold in 11 days at sales prices averaging 104 percent of their asking prices. Semi-detached sales were even faster. All semi-detached properties in the eastern districts, and there were 189 of them, sold in an eye-popping 8 days and for sale prices averaging 106 percent of the asking prices. These are unprecedented numbers.
Although not as frothy, sales of detached and semi-detached homes in the City of Toronto’s central districts were also dramatic. In central Toronto the average price for a detached house came in at $1,664,694. For the City of Toronto the average price was $1,051,912, both numbers establishing new benchmarks for detached property sales. Not only were these average sale prices unprecedented, but sales took place in 19 and 16 days respectively, and for sale prices 101 and 102 percent of their asking prices. It is clear that notwithstanding the steep rise of prices for detached and semi-detached homes in the central districts, Toronto buyers have an insatiable appetite for these housing forms.
Condominium apartment sales established a record of their own. Condominium apartment sales were up an amazing 21.3 percent compared to June of 2014. In June 1,906 apartments were reported sold in the City of Toronto (416 area). These sales represented 43 percent of all sales in the City of Toronto for the month of June. Although the volume of sales was up dramatically, it was not matched by the increase in the average sale price. The average sale price for condominium apartments came in at $418,599, up 7 percent compared to June 2014, but is still considerably lower than average sale prices for freehold properties.
Although more condominium apartments are selling and at higher prices, they are not selling as fast as detached and semi-detached homes, nor are they selling for prices exceeding list prices. In June all condominium apartments in the City of Toronto sold in 27 days, 8 days slower than freehold properties. In addition all apartments sold for only 98 percent of their asking prices. As was mentioned earlier, inventory levels continue to be a problem for buyers. In June 17,746 new listing became available in the greater Toronto area. This was an increase of 6.7 percent compared to the 16,633 that became available in 2014. Notwithstanding this increase, entering July there are 13.1 percent fewer available properties for buyers to purchase than there were last year at this time. Last year there were 20,686 available properties, this year there are only 17,972. Translated into months of inventory we see that there are 2.0 months of inventory for the greater Toronto area and 2.2 months for the City of Toronto, The 5,208 condominium apartments for sale account for the slightly higher months of inventory in the city of Toronto. In both cases, however, 2.0 and 2.2 months of inventory reflect strong seller markets. Looking forward I anticipate a small pull back in the market in July. This is consistent with historical seasonal cycles. Last July the market retracted by about 10 percent compared to June. Expect a similar retraction when July’s numbers are reported. One thing is clear, the annual record for most reported sales is well on its way to being shattered in 2015.
Report prepared by Chestnut Park’s CEO Chris Kapches
– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.
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