March 2017 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The question that economists, journalist, politicians and realtors are all asking is: What’s happening to the Toronto real estate market? What they are discovering is that there are no easy answers to this question. What’s prompting the question is the most recent residential resale data for the month of February. In February, there were 8,014 reported property sales, a 5.7% increase compared to the 7,583 sales that took place last February. The positive variance is not large, but considering that 2016 was a record-breaking year, substantially so, a positive variance speaks to the strength of the market in 2017.

Sales in and of themselves are not one of the major concerns related to the market. It’s the available inventory that’s the problem. At the beginning of March there were only 5,400 active listings. This compares very unfavourably to the 10,902 properties available for sale last year at this time.

Even at 10,902 that was an insufficient number of properties for sale in the robust market of early 2016. The decline in inventory year-over-year is more than 50 percent. And it is not going to get better. In February, only 9,834 new properties came to market, a decline of 12.5% compared to the 11,234 properties that became available for sale during February of last year.

What these numbers mean is that for the greater Toronto area there is only 1 month of inventory, and for the City of Toronto, 1.2 months of inventory. These are unprecedented low inventory levels. By comparison only a year ago, there were 1.7 and 2.1 months of inventory, respectively available to buyers. To put these numbers into perspective, a balanced market is one in which there are between 3 to 4 months of inventory.

It comes as no surprise therefore that all listed properties are selling at the speed of light and for prices never seen before in the greater Toronto area and the City of Toronto. All properties listed for sale in February (on average) sold in just 13 days. Last year, which I repeat was a record-breaking year, it took 21 days for all properties in the greater Toronto area to sell, more than 38% faster than last year.

But what has captured everyone’s attention, is the sale prices that are being obtained in the greater Toronto area and the City of Toronto. Overall, for the entire region, including the 416 and 905 geographical areas, the average sale price for all properties sold in February was $875,983. That number represents a stunning increase of almost 28% in only one year. Last February the average sale price was only $685,735. If you were a buyer who decided to postpone purchasing a house in 2016 and now are in the market, the house you could have bought last year will now cost you $190,000 more.

Prices are substantially higher in the City of Toronto. A detached property now costs $1,573,622, a 30% increase compared to last year. A typical semi-detached property for the first time now costs more than $1 Million ($1,085,484). In Toronto’s central districts the average sale price for a detached property is now an eye-popping $2,503,188. Unbelievably, last February the average sale price for detached properties in the central districts was only $1,869,749, an increase of $634,000 or 34 percent. In February there were 389 properties that were reported sold with a sale price of $2 Million or more. Last year there were only 187 sales in this price category and a mere 103 in 2015.

Chris Kapches, President & CEO of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., Inc.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, REDM, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.