The Toronto residential resale market posted new records for sales in May, as it has in previous months this year. Historically low mortgage interest rates, extremely low inventory levels, especially for detached and semi-detached properties, are the dominant drivers of the market. At the end of May there were 18,858 properties available for sale, more than 10 percent less than the 20,679 that were available at the end of May 2014. As of the date of preparation of this Market Update buyers can secure a 5 year fixed term mortgage with an interest rate of 2.54 percent, with even lesser rates available for shorter terms. With little likelihood that new listings will increase over the next few months, and mortgage rates holding firm with increases unlikely for the remainder of 2015, expect this market to remain a seller’s market for the foreseeable future.In May 11,706 residential properties were reported sold for the greater Toronto area. This compares to 11,013 that were reported sold last year, a 6.3 percent increase, and a record month for the greater Toronto area. In April there was a 17 percent increase compared to April 2014. Although there was a pullback from the highs of April, the 11,706 properties sold in May is still very impressive, especially for a market place that has already produced over 30,000 sales in just the first four months of the year.
Last month I reported that the speed at which these properties were selling was unprecedented. In May sales took place at an even faster pace. All properties (on average) sold after only 18 days on market. In April all properties sold in 20 days. Last May all properties were reported sold in 21 days.
In some trading districts the pace of sales can only be described as blistering. For example all properties in the eastern trading districts sold in only 13 days. That represents 1,132 properties. It is difficult to find superlatives for this market. In Toronto’s central districts all detached properties, 490 of them, sold in just 13 days, and for an eye-popping average sale price of $1,731,998, and 102 percent of the asking price.
Sales of semi-detached homes in the central districts were even faster. All semi-detached properties sold in just 10 days at an average sale price of $966,948, and for prices that were 106 percent of their list price. Breathtaking results. In the eastern districts, because of lower price points and even fewer properties available for sale, sales for detached and semi-detached properties were even faster.
It will be of no surprise to anyone following these market statistics that average sale prices continue to rise. In May the greater Toronto area market place established a new record for monthly average sale prices, coming in at $649,599, and eclipsing the previous record of $635,899, which was only achieved in April. May’s average sale price of $649,599 was more than 11 percent higher than the average sale price of $584,946 that we saw in May 2014. Ironically, at that time, it was also a record average sale price for the greater Toronto area. The average sale price for homes in the City of Toronto (416 area) is even higher, coming in at $718,350. Currently Toronto’s least expensive area to live in is the eastern districts. The average sale priced there is only $584,567, but a buyer will have to go quite a ways east to find the average priced home. The eastern districts closer to the city’s central core are averaging over $800,000. As I have indicated in previous reports, these numbers would be even higher if condominium apartment statistics are not included. As the market progresses we are seeing even condominium prices also increasing, and fairly dramatically.
In the City of Toronto, where most condominium apartments are located, condominium apartment sales increased by almost 13 percent compared to May of 2014. This 13 percent increase represented 1,762 sales, which in turn represents 42 percent of all sales that took place in Toronto. Not only were volumes up, but so were average prices. In May the average sale price for condominium apartments came in at $422,947. It was only a few months ago that the $400,000 threshold was exceeded. In Toronto’s central core the average price for a condominium apartment is rapidly approaching $500,000. In May the average sale price came in at $492,100.
It should be noted that notwithstanding rising volumes and sale prices for condominium apartments, the pace of sales, though improving, lags behind freehold sales. In May it took 27 days for all condominium apartments to sell in Toronto, 15 days slower than detached properties and an incredible 18 days longer than semi-detached properties. Unlike detached and semi-detached homes condominium apartments are not selling for more than their asking prices. In May condominium apartments on average sold for only 98 percent of their list price.
Properties selling with a sale price of $1 Million or more are now becoming the norm in Toronto. In May 1,412 properties having a sale price of $1 Million or more were reported sold. Million dollar plus property sales now represent more than 12 percent of the overall market place. It should be noted that 240 properties were reported sold having sale prices exceeding $2 Million.
New records are being created monthly. At this pace the record for the most sales in a year is very likely to be shattered. In 2007 93,193 properties were reported sold. At that time the average sale price was only $379,347, 73 percent less than it is today. Short of an economic catastrophe, 2015 will end with reported sales exceeding 100,000 properties.
Prepared by: Chris Kapches, President & CEO, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.