Toronto Detached Real Estate Sales Improve, But Still 2nd Worst September In 17 Years

Toronto’s detached real estate market has improved from last year’s bloodbath, but not by much. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) numbers show that prices were mostly stalled in September. The stalled prices were accompanied by more sales, and even more inventory than last year. Before you get too excited about rising sales, it was the second worst September in 17 years.

Greater Toronto Detached Real Estate Prices Are Down Over 1%

Greater Toronto detached real estate prices were split in movement last month. TREB reported the price of a typical detached home reached $914,200 in September, down 1.63% compared to last year. The City of Toronto reached $1,105,300, up 1.04% compared to last year. Neither number indicates a significant change of sentiment from the month before.

Toronto Detached Benchmark Price

The price of a typical detached home across the Toronto Real Estate Board, in Canadian dollars.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

The pace of growth is a slight improvement, which looked better in the city. TREB’s 1.63% decline was reading 1.94% the month before, so prices are making smaller declines. The City of Toronto’s annual increase of 1.04% is a whole point higher than it was the month before. The improvement is encouraging, but both numbers are on track to trail inflation.

Toronto Detached Benchmark Percent Change

The 12 month percent change of a typical detached home across the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

The median sale price of a detached home moved higher. TREB reported a reported median sale price of $845,000 in September, up 1.93% compared to the same month last year. The City of Toronto had a median sale price of $1,045,800, up 5.7% from last. The median isn’t adjusted for size or quality like the benchmark price. Instead, it’s better used as a measure of dollar flow, like the average sale price.

Toronto Detached Average Sale Price

The average sale price of a detached house in the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Speaking of average sales prices, the average sale price for detached homes is a little lower. TREB reported an average sale of $1,342,363 in September, down 0.6% compared to the same month last year. The City of Toronto had an average sale price of $1,008,361, down 1.4% from last year. The average sale price isn’t helpful for determining how much you’ll pay for a house. Instead, it’s a better gauge of dollar flow, which is a little lower than last year.

Toronto Detached Average Sale Price Change

The 12 month percent change of average sale price across across TREB.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Second Fewest Detached Sales In 17 Years

Greater Toronto detached real estate sales made an improvement from last year. TREB reported 2,829 detached sales in September, up 2.7% from last year. The City of Toronto represented 665 of those sales, an increase of 4.6% from last year. The increase in sales across TREB sounds great, but we’re comparing it to the slowest September in 17 years. In case you’re curious, September 2018 was the second slowest.

Toronto Detached Sales Vs. New Listings

The total number of detached sales, compared to the number of new detached listings per month.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Detached Real Estate Inventory Rises Nearly 9%

The total number of new listings for detached homes showed a slight decline. TREB reported 8,727 new listings in September, down 3.13% from last year. The City of Toronto represented 2,009 of those sales, strangely the exact number seen last year. The decline in new listings wasn’t enough to keep inventory from rising.

The total number of homes for sales is up significantly from last year. TREB reported 12,042 active listings for detached homes in September, up 8.99% from last year. The City of Toronto represented 2,317 of those listings, up 7.07% from last year. If that sounds high compared to relative history, it is. It’s close to double the inventory seen in 2016.

Toronto Active Detached Listings

The total number of detached listings available.

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Stalling detached prices are a clear sign that buyers are struggling with what to make of the market. Sales are higher than last year, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot – since last year was abysmal. Meanwhile inventory and rates are climbing, neither being great for the most expensive segment of housing… in the country’s second most expensive market.

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Photo: Shinsuke Ikegame.


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  • Reply
    Trevor 2 years ago

    Things you’ll read in MSM: The market improved.

    Things you won’t: Second worst September in 17 years.

    MSM isn’t lying, but they sure as heck aren’t giving us the truth. After all, their biggest advertisers are probably the real estate industry.

  • Reply
    Devon 2 years ago

    Toronto is insanely unaffordable, especially if we expect rates to go higher. Look at the US 10 year yield, it’s about to smash into 2011 levels of high.

    • Reply
      Micahel Hsu 2 years ago

      Exactly. Either rates rise to keep up with US demand, or our dollar gets demolished going into the future. I personally would rather my cash be worth more, and my home’s value decline – but that’s just me. Some people would rather have a lot of dollars that can buy a lot less, because it makes them feel richer.

  • Reply
    Jungle 2 years ago

    The stress test started Jan 1 for everyone. Here’s a taste of what an artificial 2% hike in interest rates have done:

    Average detach price is up 100k
    Average condo is up 84k

    What his article fails to convey is the ratio of sales to active listings indicates a tight market still. This is basic supply and demand. Condos under 2 months of supply and detach just over 3 months. 2-3 months of inventory = “balanced and or tight market”

    The economy still strong and enough wealthy to support sales, GTA very desired whether you agree or not, the market does. 634 people bought a detach last month with average price 1.35m

    The wealth inequality from the RE boom has created a monopoly game now , controlled by those only wealthy to play the game. Big social issues come with this and it’s not going to revert back. Average incomes cannot afford. Fundamentals not valued on average income.

    Respected, world class city has been born and is not going back. Especially with all the immigrants, 10m in gta by 2040, tech jobs and lack of new highways / transit creating dense cores, and desirable area to live for many people who come and choose to stay here.

    • Reply
      vnm 2 years ago

      It’s not just a tight market, it’s a bubble market. In the top 4 of all the Cities in Bubbles rankings. You sound like you are reading from the “You know for sure your in a bubble when …” brochure.

      • Reply
        Asterix1 2 years ago

        Watch out Vnm, you risk confusing Jungle!

      • Reply
        @xelan_gta 2 years ago

        If you know that average MOI (Active-to-sales) for City of Toronto since 2002 is only 2.5 our market doesn’t look so tight anymore. Current reading is 2.4 so we are in a balanced territory.

    • Reply
      greg 2 years ago

      You nailed it !! Great response Yet another “Crash” report.

      • Reply
        Realtard Pro 2 years ago

        Would it have been better if they said it comes in 15 out of the past 17 September’s for sales?

    • Reply
      David Chu 2 years ago

      Sales to active was also the highest in 2006 across the United States. I can’t remember what happened after that, I’m assuming valuations just kept rising or something?

  • Reply
    Rob2018 2 years ago

    If a young couple want to buy a house in Toronto they need about $1,000,000. Say they have been able to save $150,000 after tax cash for a downpayment. That’s an ungodly sum for a young couple to save by the way, especially after tax. Their mortgage is $850,000 at 4.25% over 25 years is $4800 per month. That’s 30% of $16,000 a month, after tax. So they are making about $30,000 a month or $360,000 a year. People who earn $360,000 annually don’t like $1,000,000 houses in Toronto. They prefer $2,000,000 houses. People who actually like $1,000,000 houses in Toronto make about $150,000 a year. House prices make no sense and they are not sustainable, they are certainly not going up. My bet is that house prices are going to drop 60% from today’s already reduced prices. Maybe even BOGO?

    • Reply
      D 2 years ago

      Please stop sharing numbers. Math is not your strong suit LoL

      • Reply
        Rob2018 2 years ago

        Rather than math-shaming, run your own numbers on the scenario I offered and publish them here. I’m up for the discussion.

        In the meantime, houses that were selling for $3.5M last year are asking $2.5M today. They will sell for $1.5M in December 2018 if they decide to cut their losses for fear that they will sell for even less in March of 2019.

        A case in point – there is a property near my residence that was listed at$3.5M last spring that got no bites. They reduced to $1.5M, still no bites. 60 days ago (inexplicably) they relisted at $2M. So far – no bites. They will take the $1.5 if someone bites. 30 days ago – one around the corner sold for $1.2M. Bummer.

        The thing about irrational expectations is that they are, well, irrational. But no matter what, we can wait and see how the race to the bottom works out.

    • Reply
      Cyrus Rahimi 2 years ago

      Do you remember when you graduated from university?
      None of us were able to buy a house at that time in Toronto, so do not expect that. Toronto is a world class city and the ones who just be coupled and start life need to go out of Toronto and come back if they can afford it.
      Toronto can not stop to win the world stage . It is not the city for any young couples. People like you and me and our narrow minded counselors who always stop Toronto to be big and glorious as it deserved. These kind of thoughts embarrasses us when we compare Toronto’s subway system with Spain, Moscow , Paris and London. Please think positive and tell the new graduates to come to Kitchener, London, Lindsey. Barry, Oshawa and …

      • Reply
        Rob2018 2 years ago

        Yes – 25 years ago we chose Oakville. It was a pretty ok decision.

  • Reply
    pranav 2 years ago

    Immigrant population with a shit ton of undisclosed income use Toronto/Vancouver housing market to park their money and legitimize it. Thats why people lose a lot of houses to no condition (all cash) offers.

    Asian markets and political agendas are a lot more volatile than here in Canada. It is a safe haven for wealthy Asians who cashed out of their homeland, to seek a stable country like ours, now that USA has closed doors to immigration.

    There is a possibility of them finding a different safe haven, but there aren’t many out there.

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