Toronto is a Hot Commodity with Analysts Predicting a Record Year
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Angie Seth, of Global TV News, about Toronto’s hot real estate market. You can watch the video below or view on the Global News site!
Record Home Sales in September 2015
Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record number of transactions for the month of September through TREB’s MLS® System. There was a combined 8,200 home sales reported for September 2015. This result was up 2.5 per cent compared to September 2014.
TREB MLS® sales through the first nine months of 2015 amounted to 80,331, which also represented a record result and a 9.5 per cent increase compared to the first three quarters of 2014.
“We are on track for record home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System this year. Barring a drastic shift in the economy over the next three months, total transactions reported by TREB Members in 2015 are expected to be at or near the 100,000 mark. This is a testament to the importance that GTA households put on home ownership as a long-term investment,” said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 10.5 per cent year over year. The average selling price for all home types combined was also up by 9.2 per cent annually to $627,395. Growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark and the average price was driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semidetached houses and townhouses.
“While September was the second straight month where annual growth in new listings outstripped annual growth sales, total active listings at the end of the month still remained below last year’s level. This, coupled with the record pace of sales experienced so far this year, suggests that competition between buyers will remain strong as we move into the fourth quarter. Expect strong rates of price growth to continue through the remainder of 2015 and into 2016,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
ASKING PRICE: $899,000
SELLING PRICE: $936,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $605,000 (2007)
TAXES: $4,720 (2015)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: 28
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Published in The Globe and Mail, September 17, 2015
The Action: A great deal of traffic flowed through this detached, three-bedroom residence, but without an offer and with a number of other alternatives nearby, the price was dropped below $900,000 to attract more buyers.
The move put the residence on the radar of two potential buyers who made competing bids.
What They Got: Less than a 10-minute walk from High Park, this brick house with an attached garage displays traditional stained-glass windows and hardwood floors in areas such as the fireside living room, which has access to a sunroom with ceramic floors.
Since 2007, the original centre-hall plan was modified with a newly combined dining area and kitchen with a walkout to a deck and 57-by-75-foot lot, as well as a new roof, furnace and lower level recreation room with one of three bathrooms.
The Agent’s Take: “The location of it really helped sell it; it’s a very hot area,” agent Elli Davis says.
“It’s close to High Park and the subway.”
The seller’s improvements also increased the home’s value.
“Glenlake was a very nice house – a three-bedroom house – with a renovated kitchen and main-floor powder room,” Ms. Davis explains.
“[In one bedroom], the owner put in steps to a third floor, so it was more of a loft for storage or a play area.”
Sales and Average Price Up in August
September 4, 2015 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,998 residential transactions through the TREB MLS® System in August 2015. This result represented a 5.7 per cent increase compared to 7,568 sales reported in August 2014. On a GTA-wide basis, sales were up for all major home types.
The annual growth rate in new listings was greater than the annual growth rate in sales, but active listings at the end of August were still down compared to last year. This suggests that sellers’ market conditions remained in place, especially where low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses were concerned.
“Buyers in the GTA remain confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term. They see ownership housing as a quality investment that has historically produced positive returns while at the same time providing owners with a place to live in their chosen community,” said Mr. McLean.
Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up substantially in August compared to the same period in 2014, with both increasing by approximately 10 per cent year-over-year.
“A record year for home sales continued to unfold in August as competition between buyers exerted upward pressure on selling prices. It was encouraging to see annual growth in new listings outstrip annual growth in sales, but we will need to see this for a number of months before market conditions become more balanced,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Real Estate Professional Magazine has released its 2015 Hot List: 150 sizzling players who are setting the industry on fire. REP Magazine asked the real estate community for their input on which of their peers are the most successful, most engaging and most innovative people. Elli is proud to be included in this group and featured in the article!
“Everyone on our Hot List has one thing in common – they’re all changing the face of the Canadian real estate industry.”
New Record for July Home Sales
August 6, 2015 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced record home sales for the month of July. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,880 sales through TREB’s MLS® System, representing an eight per cent increase compared to July 2014. The number of transactions were up for all major home types, including a double digit year-over-year increase in condominium apartment sales.
“As we move towards a new record for home sales this year, it is important to point out that home ownership demand has been driven not only by low borrowing costs, but also by the fact that the GTA economy has been performing quite well, with the unemployment rate lower compared to last year. Home buyers remain confident in the long-term benefits of owning a home,” said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark, which accounts for benchmark home prices in communities throughout the TREB market area, was up by 9.4 per cent year over- year in July 2015. Over the same period, the average selling price was up by a slightly greater amount, growing by 10.6 per cent annually to $609,236.
Detached homes continued to lead the way in terms of price increases, with annual growth in the average selling price outstripping growth in the MLS® HPI detached benchmark. This suggests that there continued to be a greater share of high-end homes sold this year compared to last.
“With the level of inventory in the GTA trending below two months, many listings continued to generate a lot of interest from buyers. Not surprisingly, this supported further price increases well-above the rate of inflation. Assuming similar interest rate and economic environments over the next five months, strong price growth will remain the norm for the rest of 2015,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
127 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto
ASKING PRICE: $1,295,000
SELLING PRICE: $1,385,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $467,500 (1992)
TAXES: $7,993 (2014)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Three
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Published in the Globe and Mail, July 31, 2015
The Action: Just a 10-minute walk from restaurants, shops, cinemas and a subway station on Yonge Street, this North Toronto home was scheduled for nearly a week of exposure. But the weekend open houses were cancelled after the owners accepted an offer from one of six visitors with mid-week private showings.
What They Got: A 27-by-134-foot lot anchors this three-storey structure with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal principal rooms and five decks, including one leading to a fenced yard from a fireside family room behind the double garage.
The basement offers a recreation area and a guest bedroom, while the second floor accommodates an eat-in kitchen and fireside living room with decks and a central dining area.
The Agent’s Take: “You could walk to Yonge and Eglinton, so it’s in a prime area,” agent Elli Davis says. “And it’s an older area, but this was a detached home that had been built in the eighties, so it was more contemporary.”
The set-up also suited a wide range of potential buyers, from large families to professionals wanting an urban setting. “It really had three full floors of living space, so it was very large, larger than you’d think from the street,” Ms. Davis says.
“It has a nice backyard and faced south, so you had a good view of the CN Tower from the second floor.”
350 Lonsdale Rd., No. 612
ASKING PRICE: $838,000
SELLING PRICE: $838,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $581,000 (2008)
TAXES: $4,056 (2014)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Two
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Published in the Globe and Mail July 16, 2015
The Action: Forest Hill condominiums were a hot commodity this spring with local downsizers, so this designer’s own suite at The Lonsdale residence sold quickly after 10 showings.
What They Got: In 2008, key areas of this 1,407-square-foot space were remodelled, including the two bathrooms and a kitchen with an island, glass tile backsplashes and hardwood floors.
One of three carpeted bedrooms was opened up to create a den off a dining area and entertaining space along a wall of windows and sliding balcony doors.
A locker and parking round out the package. Monthly fees of $1,507 pays for utilities and cable, and common areas such as a rooftop deck and indoor pool.
The Agent’s Take: “That was a two-bedroom and den, originally a three-bedroom, which are increasingly hard to find in the city,” says agent Elli Davis. “It had also been renovated beautifully by the owner.”
The 44-year-old mid-rise – which Ms. Davis once resided in with her parents in the 1970s – also has a solid reputation.
“A lot of people like the older buildings because they’re well managed, have good reserve funds and space, which is key compared to the little matchboxes they’re building today,” she says.
“It’s right near Forest Hill Village, the subway, it’s a very high demand area, and it has a big party room on the main floor, 24-hour security, so it really has all the facilities someone would want.”
Record Sales and Strong Price Growth in June
July 7, 2015 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,992 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2015. This result represented a new record for the month of June and an 18.4 per cent increase over the June 2014 result of 10,132.
“As I begin my term as TREB President, I think it is important to point out that our region continues to grow in response to our diverse economic, ethnic and cultural bases. The GTA consistently receives international accolades as one of the best places in the world to live and do business. As the number of households grow, many of them will take advantage of the diversity of affordable home ownership opportunities that exist in Toronto and the surrounding areas,” said Mr. McLean.
Selling prices were up markedly on a year-over-year basis in June, for all major home types. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 8.9 per cent in comparison to June 2014. The average selling price was up by 12.3 per cent over the same period to $639,184.
High-end homes have accounted for a greater share of overall transactions this year compared to last year. This is the key reason why the average selling price has increased at a greater annual rate than the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark.
“It is encouraging to see that new listings have edged upward so far this year, as homeowners have reacted to strong home price growth and have looked to take advantage of increased equity in their homes. However, the annual rate of sales growth continues to far outstrip listings growth, which means that there remains a lot of willing buyers in the marketplace who haven’t found a home that meets their needs. As long as this situation persists, expect home prices to trend strongly upward,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
A New Sales Record For The Month Of May
Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced 11,706 sales reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® in May 2015. This result was up by 6.3 per cent in comparison to 11,013 sales reported in May 2014. For the TREB market area as a whole, sales were up for all major housing types. However, in the City of Toronto, where the supply of low-rise listings has been constrained, sales were down for detached homes.
“During my tenure as TREB President over the past year, it is clear to me that ownership housing remains top of mind as a quality long-term investment for GTA households. This is why, despite a shortage of listings in some market segments, we experienced a record number of sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System for the month of May,” said Mr. Etherington.
Record May transactions, coupled with a dip in the number of homes available for sale, resulted in strong price growth. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 8.9 per cent year over year in May. The MLS® HPI uses benchmark homes to estimate price growth. This allows for an “apples to apples” comparison of price growth that is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity.
The average selling price for all home types combined in May 2015 was up by 11 per cent annually to $649,599. The higher annual rate of average price growth compared to the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark points to the fact that the proportion of high-end home sales continued to be greater compared to 2014.
“Tight market conditions, especially for singles, semis and town homes in the GTA, have resulted in strong price growth regardless of the price metric being considered. With no relief so far on the listings front, expect similar rates of price growth as we move through the remainder of 2015. At this point, a number of months where listings growth outstrips sales growth would be required to satisfy pent-up demand,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.