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September 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

September 2019 Real Estate Market

September 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Toronto and area’s residential resale market, which I have been describing as beautifully boring over the last few months, got a lot less boring in September. Compared to last September, reported sales were up by 22 percent, but more concerning is the fact that average sale prices jumped by almost 6 percent. With salaries and wages increasing by only 3.5 to 3.8 percent affordability and substantially concerns once again get pushed to the forefront.

In September the average sale price climbed to $843,115 for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price made its way to $913,096. These are the highest average sale prices recorded since the housing measures implemented by the provincial government in April 2017, and more concerning, they are beginning to approach the record high average prices reached in early 2017 that drove government intervention in the first place.

In the City of Toronto, it is now almost impossible to buy a detached or semi-detached property for under $1 Million. In September the average sale price for detached properties came in at $1,306,000 and semi-detached increased to $1,069,000. What is alarming is the rise in condominium apartment sale prices, the region’s most affordable housing type. For the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $636,817, however, the bulk of condominium sales take place in Toronto’s central core, and there the average sale price popped to $719, 341, a record number. The sale of an average priced condominium apartment represents only 700 square feet of living space.

The 905 regions have also been showing signs of life, however, they lag the prices that are approaching record highs in the City of Toronto. The average price for detached properties remains under $1 Million ($946,256), while semi-detached prices dramatically lag their Toronto counterparts, coming in at only $689,950. In the 905 regions condominium apartments, which are becoming more plentiful, are only $497,000.

No doubt the rise in average sale prices is being driven by a lack of inventory. This is particularly true in the City of Toronto. Throughout the greater Toronto area listed properties are down by over 14 percent compared to last year – 17,254 available properties for the entire greater Toronto area is simply insufficient supply. in the City of Toronto, the situation is becoming critical. At month end only 5,499 properties were available for sale.


This translates into only 1.9 months of inventory. It is not surprising that all properties sold in the City of Toronto sold in only 19 days (including all condominium apartment sales) and astonishingly for 101 percent of their asking prices. Given these market conditions it is imperative that the political parties engaged in Canada’s federal election not make promises that will stimulate the housing market. In particular, the Conservative Party’s promise to lower the mortgage stress testing levels and increase amortization times will have a disastrous impact on the prevailing market and its longer-term sustainability.


Chris Kapches, LLB, President & CEO Chestnut Park Real Estate, Ltd Brokerage

Cottage Dreams: Turn-Key Family Compound Muskoka Milla, Cognashene, Honey Harbour, Georgian Bay

This exceptional family compound is sited on a massive Canadian shield outcropping perfectly integrating it with its natural environment hugging the shoreline of Georgian Bay. Located in the Bone Island basin on one of the exclusive mega lots at Muskoka Mills, the property consists of 26 + acres of granite, majestic pines and 1449 ft. of granite shoreline leading to the pristine waters of Georgian Bay.

The architecturally designed 2500 sq. Ft. 3 bedroom – 2 bath main cottage is four-season, has all the comfort and conveniences and is furnished to a high standard. There is also a 650 sq. Ft. 2 bedroom / 1 bath guesthouse and a 585 sq. Ft. workshop / dry boathouse on the shore.

The main cottage is an open plan with light-filled principal rooms offering spectacular Georgian Bay views. There are extensive decks for sun and entertaining along with a gazebo. The living room and family room have fireplaces, the office / den has a woodstove. The mechanicals are very well thought out and are state of the art. There is good deep-water dockage and great swimming off the u-shaped dock. Most chattels are included. Only 15 minutes by boat from marinas in Honey Harbour.

Georgian Bay is the northeastern arm of Lake Huron, in Ontario. It’s characterized by rugged bedrock, white pine forests to the north, sandy southern beaches, and 30,000 islands. Bruce Peninsula National Park on its western side includes part of the Bruce Trail along the Niagara Escarpment. Fathom Five National Marine Park is known for preserved shipwrecks, 19th-century lighthouses and Flowerpot Island’s sea-stack rock formations.

Offered for Sale $1,795,000 – Call for a Private Showing

July Is National Ice Cream Day

President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation making July National Ice Cream month in July 1984. Ice cream brings up many childhood memories for me. I had the great fortune of being born to a Mother and Father who both loved ice cream. Many Friday nights found us at a family favorite Matlack’s, restaurant-style ice cream parlor near my home town that served baskets of pretzel sticks with their bowls of ice cream, or a summertime drive down to Dredge Harbour Soft Serve ice cream near the river in my hometown, or my Mother bringing home a quart of her favorite hand-dipped Butter Almond or Chocolate or Mint Chocolate Chip for us to share.

One adult memory of ice cream surrounds my friend and former boss, Kris Weston. Kris was in palliative care and actively dying at a hospital near Yonge and Bloor. She was a real-life “Sex in the City” character. She also was surrounded by a coterie of single professional women of a certain age who were her support team. They were all there visiting one evening and when leaving to have dinner nearby, someone asked her if she wanted anything.


“Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Ice Cream”, was the response.


When they returned, they told us that Pusateri’s in Yorkville didn’t have that flavour, so they were sending a pint down from the Pustateri’s on Avenue Road north of Lawrence in a taxi. (“Who does that?”, I thought.)


Sure enough, after they left the cab driver arrived at the hospital room door with the pint of ice cream. I paid him $20 or $25 + tip for delivering it.

Kris savoured her ice cream, enjoying every spoonful. She died three days later.

Toronto has many ice cream choices waiting for you to make your own summertime memories. I’ve sampled all of them. All highly recommended.

June 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report


June 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

As forecast, the Toronto and area residential resale market delivered its third consecutive strong monthly performance. In June 8,860 properties were reported sold, almost 11% higher than the 8,024 properties reported sold last year. On a year-to-date basis, 43,950 properties have been reported sold, a vast improvement over the 39,922 properties reported sold at the midpoint of 2018. At this rate, the Toronto and area residential resale market will report about 85,000 sales in 2019. Last year only 78,023 were reported sold, the lowest number of sales since 2008.

The average sale prices rose by 3% to $832,703. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $915,481, 10% higher. This is startling when it is remembered that about 50% of all property sales in the City of Toronto are condominium apartments, with an average sale price of only $636,000 in June.

Not only was the number of sales impressive, but also the speed at which sales took place was also impressive. All properties sold in the greater Toronto area were reported sold in only 21 days. In the City of Toronto, sales took place in only 18 days. In some trading areas in Toronto, sales took place even faster. For example, all sales in Toronto’s eastern districts took place in 15 days. Semi-detached property sales in the eastern districts and there were 133 of them, took place in only 11 days, at sale prices averaging 109% of the list prices.

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Inventory continues to be a concern. In June 15,816 properties came to market, almost 1% less than the 15,876 that came to market last year. The bulk of those new listings were in Toronto’s 905 region. At month end buyers in the greater Toronto market place had 16,655 available properties to view and purchase. Unfortunately, that number was almost 6% fewer than the 20,844 properties available last year at this time.

Urban Researchers Frank Clayton and Eva Shi recently reported that in 2018 the population of the greater Toronto area grew by 125,298 people, second only to Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, which grew by 131,767. The City of Toronto grew by 77,435 people over the same period, by far the fastest-growing city in North America (Phoenix came in second with a growth rate of 25,288.) All of the greater Toronto area’s growth is immigration driven.

The problem for the city of Toronto and the greater Toronto area is that this growth is not singular. It has been occurring year in and year out for more than 10 years. The compounding effect has put tremendous pressure on housing both from the perspective of availability and affordability. Having only 19,655 properties available throughout the greater Toronto area is simply not enough.

Of particular concern is the impact of population growth on the availability of condominium apartments, the least expensive housing form available to buyers. In June new listings of condominium apartments declined, both in the City of Toronto and the greater Toronto area compared to last June. In the City of Toronto, only 2,546 condominium apartments were available to buyers at the end of June, not nearly enough to satisfy the demand.

The high-end of the market continues to improve. In June 257 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold, almost 9% higher than the 237 reported sold last year. Detached homes, which represent about 90% of these sales, came in at an average sale price of $1,332,639 in the city of Toronto. In Toronto’s central districts the average sale price for detached properties sold was just over $2 Million.

As we move into July, and the summer months we can expect softer sales. By September I anticipate that sales and average sale prices will return to the pattern established in April, May, and June. Sales will be approximately 10% higher than sales achieved in 2018, and average sale prices will continue to increase moderately at 3 percent.



Canada’s BIGGEST Pizza: The 416 Pizza


Giorgio Taverniti, owner of Frank’s Pizza House on St. Clair Avenue West makes great pizza. Recently Joel Hansen approached him with a novel idea: Would Giorgio be interested in making Canada’s BIGGEST pizza? Why not? Giorgio measured his pizza oven, had a pizza pan custom made, and assembled a crew of helpers for the big day.

26 lbs. of homemade pizza dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni later, The 416 Pizza, came out of the oven and was born. It was dubbed The 416 Pizza because it is 416 ounces or 26 lbs. (about 12 kg). The giant pizza took up the entire oven, wall to wall, measuring in at 33” x 43”.

That’s as long as a small child.

A good time was had by all from watching the assembly to eating the masterpiece.

You too can enjoy The 416 Pizza. Just call Frank’s Pizza House and book ahead to have your own edition of Canada’s Biggest Pizza. Dine in only, since it likely won’t fit in your car. Don’t worry; Frank’s Pizza House also makes smaller pizzas. I have tasted them all, and, they are all just as good.

January 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report


2019 started positively, surprising many who were anticipating the double-digit declines that the Toronto and area residential resale marketplace delivered in November and December of last year. Although moderate, January delivered increased sales volume and average sale prices compared to January 2018.

There were 4,009 sales reported in January, a less than 1 percent increase compared to 2018, but an increase nonetheless. Encouragingly, January’s positive results were due to an improvement in Toronto’s 905 region. The Greater Toronto Area was dramatically impacted by the provincial foreign buyers’ tax and has lagged behind the Toronto 416 market since the spring of 2017. In January, the 905 region’s sales were up by 2.5 percent compared to last year, while the City of Toronto’s sales declined by 3.5 percent. The decline in City of Toronto sales was not caused by a decline in demand. Rather the decline was driven by a chronic shortage of supply. At the end of January, the Greater Toronto Area had 2.7 months of inventory, whereas the City of Toronto found itself with only 1.9 months of inventory. The difference in inventory is also reflected by the fact that sales in the 905 region took place in 33 days (on average), yet it took only 29 days for all properties in the City of Toronto to sell.

Another positive aspect to January’s performance is the supply of new properties that came to market. In January, 9,456 new properties became available to buyers. This is a favorable 10.5 percent increase compared to the 8,561 new listings that became available last year. Entering February, active listings were slightly higher than last year. February began with 11,962 active listings compared to the 11,894 available last year. The bulk of these listings are located in the 905 region. OF the 11,962 active listings, 8,387, or more than 70 percent, are located in the 905 region.

January’s average sale price came in at $748,328, an increase of almost 2 percent compared to last year’s average sale price of $735,874. This is exactly the kind of increase that reflects a stable and sound market, not the double-digit monthly increases that became common place in 2016 and early 2017. Double digit increases in average sale prices become unsustainable and unfortunately can lead to painful corrections.

In this regard Toronto’s high-end residential market continues to adjust. In January, 76 properties having a sale price of $2 million or more were reported sold. This compared to 90 reported sold during the same period last year. The adjustment is also evident in the sale price to listing ratio witnessed in January. Detached properties in Toronto’s central districts are the most expensive properties in the Greater Toronto Area. All detached properties in these districts sold for 95 percent of their asking price. This ratio was much lower than detached properties in other trading districts. For example, all detached properties in Toronto’s eastern districts sold for 100 percent of their asking price. The fact that the average sale price in the eastern districts is half ($916,588) that of the central districts ($1,938,617) is no doubt responsible for this divergence. Higher- end properties accelerated more dramatically during the pre-2017 introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and are retracting proportionally, especially with the introduction of the 15 percent foreign buyers’ tax.

Condominium apartments continue to be the most affordable housing form, but again, because of supply, average prices continue to increase. In January, the average sale price in the City of Toronto increased by almost 9 percent to $591,444. In Toronto’s central districts, where most condominium apartment sales are located, the average sale price came in at $677,997, a 10 percent increase compared to last year’s prices. In January, there were only 1,738 condominium apartments for sale in the City of Toronto and only 1,093 in Toronto’s central districts where most sales take place. This shortage of supply will continue to put upward pressure on prices, constrained only by affordability.

Although it is a little early in the year to be forecasting for 2019, January’s results – sales volumes, price increases and increases in supply – all point to a healthy 2019. Last year only 77,375 residential properties were reported sold, the lowest number since the recession of 2008. Barring any unexpected economic events this year, we should see between 83,000 and 85,000 reported sales, with average sale prices increasing by about 2-3 percent. January’s average sale price came in at $748,328. Last year’s annual average sale price was $787,000. By year-end Toronto and area’s average sale price should be approximately $800,000. From a long-term sustainability prospect we should be thrilled with this number.


Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019: Living Coral

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019

“Living Coral”

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. Living Coral is a colour you can live with.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity.

Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.


David Arathoon is a Toronto artist who paints in oils and often captures creativity and peace in our natural habitat. His flamingo channels Living Coral very effectively






December 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report


December 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

There were no surprises in December. The year came to an end as expected. Higher borrowing costs and the new stress testing measures implemented at the beginning of the year are now a driving force in the Toronto housing landscape. The landscape is now one of moderating sales volumes and average sale prices, as was made evident in December’s resale data.

In December sales declined by more than 22 percent compared to last year. Last December 4,876 properties were reported sold by Toronto and area realtors. This year that number shrank to 3,781, the lowest number of December sales since the 2008 recession. December’s sales brought total sales for 2018 to 77,426, a decline of 16 percent from the 92,000 plus sales recorded in 2017, and more than 30 percent fewer than the 113,000 sales reported in 2016. In 2016 mortgage interest rates were half of what they are today, and borrowers did not have to qualify subject to rigid stress testing rules.

In December the average sale price for all properties reported sold in the greater Toronto area held up well, coming in at $750,180, 2.1 percent higher than the $734,847 average sale price achieved last December. On an annualized basis, however, Toronto’s average sale price declined by slightly more than 4 percent, from $822,000 last year to $787,000 in 2018.


The decline in overall average sale prices was driven primarily by the decline in sales and sale prices for Toronto and area’s more expensive properties. In December only 82 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported. Last December 116 were reported sold. In December 2016, 140 properties were reported sold in this price category. On a year-to-date basis, 2,077 $2 Million plus properties were reported sold. In 2017, 3,435 properties in this price category changed hands, an eye-popping 40 percent decline. It should be noted that the bulk of these sales took place in the first 4 months of the year before the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and increased interest rtes took effect.

Notwithstanding these negative figures, the landscape for resale housing remains fractured. It could be argued that these negative numbers are due not only to higher borrowing costs and the stress testing measures but to a lack of supply. In December only 4,308 new listings came to market. Last December 6,289 new listings came to market, a decline of over 30 percent. Heading into 2019 there were only 11,431 properties in the greater Toronto area available for buyers, a decline of more than 11 percent compared to the almost 13,000 available properties last year at this time. Most of the available properties are located in the 905 regions of the greater Toronto area. In the City of Toronto, there are only 3,270 properties available to buyers. In fact, 72 percent of all available inventory is located in the 905 regions.

These inventory levels mean that there will be neighbourhoods, particularity in the City of Toronto, where demand far outstrips supply. This was evident in Toronto’s eastern neighbourhoods, (Riverdale, Leslieville, Beaches), were even in December all properties reported sold generated sale prices exceeding their asking price by more than 100 percent. Semi-detached properties in these neighbourhoods sold for more than 105 percent of their asking prices, and in just 11 days or faster.

The inventory shortage can be dramatically illustrated by looking at detached and semi-detached properties available for sale in the City of Toronto. At the end of December, only 377 new detached properties came to market, not many more than the 340 that sold in the month. The situation for semi-detached properties is even more severe. At the beginning of this year, there were only 154 active listings in the entire City of Toronto, only 38 more properties than the 116 semi-detached properties that sold in December. The situation for condominium apartments parallels the shortage of semi-detached properties.

These property shortages would normally result in substantial price appreciation. Normal however is no longer 2.5 percent 5-year fixed mortgage interest rates. Bank posted rates are currently 5.59 percent, and even if that isn’t the rate borrowers will have to pay, the buyers will, because of stress testing, be required to qualify at that rate. The disappearance of cheap and easy money is now driving the Toronto and area market place.

Looking forward, certainly, in the short term, there is nothing on the horizon that will see any dramatic changes to the current Toronto real estate market. Sales volumes will be lower than historic norms, and average prices will continue to moderate. Currently, unemployment numbers are at a 40-year low. Subject to stability in the mortgage markets, wages should start to rise beyond inflationary levels which with time will ease our prevailing affordability problems, which in turn should see moderate increases in sales volumes and to some extent in average sale prices. The process will be slow with both buyers and sellers at times adjusting painfully to the new resale landscape.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Deciding To Move in Your Golden Years

About 90% of those 65 or older want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). In order for that to happen, it’s important to have a plan. Aging in place could mean staying in your current residence or downsizing to something smaller in the neighbourhood. Making a move to something nearby allows you to find alternative accommodation with on-site support ranging from occasional, regular assistance, or chronic care.

1. Explore the Benefits of Staying Put
2. Do a Home Safety Check
3. Assess transportation
4. Ensure a supportive community or network
5. Look at Options Nearby in the Neighbourhood
6. Make it an Ongoing Process

But, eventually the day will come when you and your family decide that the time has come to sell your long-time home and move on. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of moving after decades in the same house.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I work with teams of professionals who can help you and your family including
professional down-sizers who will help you sort, discard, disperse, and decide what will fit in your new residence. You will probably decide to keep your most precious pieces, or even treat yourself to new items chosen especially for your next place.

I can help you find your next residence as well. There are many options. I can refer you to communities that cater to senior independent living; there are life lease homes where someone else takes care of the outside; condominiums to purchase or lease. Whether it is something smaller or larger all on one floor, we will find you something that also feels like home.

If you are contemplating a move in the new year, give me a call (416-925-9191).

I am happy to meet with you to discuss all of the options available to you.

September 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

September 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The new normal in the Toronto residential real estate market has arrived. It has been finding its way for several months now, guided by the implementation of mortgage stress testing, the foreign buyer tax, and a number of mortgage interest rate hikes. It is now crystal clear, that the frenzied market of 2016 and early 2017 was in a phrase: driven by cheap, and easy money. There were other factors at play, such as a shortage of properties available for sale and the net migration to the greater Toronto area, but at the end of the day, it was access to mortgage rates that were, for several months, less than the prevailing inflation.

September’s market results illustrate the new normal. There were 6,455 reported sales during the month. In September of 2017 6,334 residential properties were reported sold, a 1.9 percent year-over-year increase. The average sale price followed a similar trajectory. Last September the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area was $774,489. This September the average sale price increased moderately to $796,789, or 2.9 percent. The era of double-digit increases year-over-year is at an end.

This pattern can also be seen at the high end of the market. Last year there were 188 properties reported sold that achieved a sale price of $2 Million or more. This year the number of similar properties reported sold was 189. A comparison to similar properties sold in 2016 poignantly indicates how the market has moderated. In September 2016, 297 properties sold in this category: 57 percent higher than the sales achieved this year.

The distinction between the 905 and the 416 regional marketplaces persists late into the year. The average sale price for all properties sold in the 416 region (the City of Toronto) came in at $864,275. Last year it was $809,591. The average sale price in the 905 region came in at $796,786. Last year it was $775,546. Year-over-year the average sale price in the City of Toronto has increased by 7 percent, while the average sale price in the 905-region increased by slightly less than 3 percent. Sales in both regions were relatively consistent with last year, with the 905 region showing a small overall increase.

It Is interesting to note that all sales in the City of Toronto came in at 101 percent of their asking price. In the 905 region sales only achieved 99 percent of their asking price. Similarly, all sales in the City of Toronto occurred (on average) in 21 days. It took 26 days for sales outside the 416 region.

Inventory levels are beginning to stabilize as a result of a decline in new listings coming to the market this September. This year 15,920 new listings became available to buyers. Last year over the same period 16,433 new properties hit the market, a decline of more than 3 percent. Heading into October there were a little more than 20,000 residential properties available to buyers, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to last year. Expect that discrepancy to come to an end in the months ahead as properties continue to sell, and fewer properties come to market.

The bulk of the 20,089 available properties for sale in the greater Toronto area are located in the 905 region. Of those properties, only 5,830 were to be found in the City of Toronto, the rest in the 905 region. Translated into months of inventory there are 2.6 months of inventory in the 905 region and only 1.9 months in the City of Toronto. It is not surprising therefore that all properties in the City of Toronto sold in 21 days and it took 26 days for properties to sell in the 905 region.

In the City of Toronto, semi-detached properties remain the most sought-after housing types, notwithstanding that in most parts of the City they are becoming quite pricey. In September all semi-detached properties sold in only 18 days and at 106 percent of their asking price. The average sale price for all semi-detached properties sold in the City of Toronto came in at just shy of $1 Million ($995,951). The eastern trading areas in Toronto continue to be the hottest for these housing types. In the neighbourhoods of Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches all semi-detached properties sold in only 15 days and for a startling 112 percent of their asking price. Inventory shortages of semi-detached properties are pushing down days on market and putting upward pressure on sale prices.

Condominium apartment sales in the City of Toronto lost some steam this September. Last year 1,362 condominium apartments sold in Toronto. This year that number dropped to 1,282, a decline of over 5 percent. Since inventory levels were only marginally different compared to last year, the difference can more likely be attributed to affordability. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price for condominium apartments came in at $615,582. Last year the average sale price was only $554,000. In Toronto’s central core, where most condominium apartment sales are recorded, the average sale price came in at a whopping $687,701, or almost 12 percent higher than last September. At prices now approaching $1,000 a square foot, the average priced central core condominium apartment is less than 700 square feet.

Given the strength of the Canadian economy, a further mortgage interest rate hike is expected in October. In combination with previous rate hikes and the stress testing that is now being applied by lenders, the residential resale market will be confined to its present pace and rhythm for some time.

Welcome to the new normal.

Prepared by: 
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker