Toronto Real Estate Joins The Flight To The Suburbs, As Inventory Rises In The City

Greater Toronto real estate is seeing a big jump in sales, and it’s mostly people fleeing to the burbs. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data shows it was the most sales for July in at least a decade. The increase in sales was primarily driven by a surge in the 905, where inventory is falling behind demand. The City on the other hand, is seeing new listings grow at three times the pace of sales.

Greater Toronto’ Real Estate Prices Make Abrupt Jump

The price of a typical home, all types included, made an usually large increase during the pandemic. The TRREB benchmark price reached $880,400 in July, up 10.01% from the same month last year. The City of Toronto reached $967,900, up 9.06% over the same period. This isn’t just unusual during a pandemic, it’s an unusual trend for the history of Toronto real estate prices.

Greater Toronto Benchmark Price

The price of a “typical” composite home across Greater Toronto.

Source: TRREB. Better Dwelling.

The rate of growth is larger than the month before, but the increase was so large it bent the trend line. The size of monthly increase doesn’t exist in the benchmark price stats prior to 2015. The movement was so abrupt, it actually looks like a misplot on the trend line.

Greater Toronto Benchmark Price Change

The annual percent change of TRREB’s benchmark price for all home types.

Source: TRREB. Better Dwelling.

The Median Sale Price Is The Same Across The Board

The unusual price movements don’t stop there, with the median sale price also making an odd movement. TRREB’s median sale price reached $810,000 in July, up 14.89% from a year before. In the City of Toronto it also hit $810,000, up 14.89% over the same period.

This means half of all homes sold at least 8% and 16% lower than the benchmark price, respectively. Yes, both median sale price numbers were reported exactly the same. Yes, the growth was also exactly the same as well, since, oddly enough, last year both regions had the exact same median sale price as well.

The average sale price had an even bigger jump as well, as absorption distribution made a major shift. The average sale price across TRREB reached $943,710 in July, up 16.97% from the same month last year. In the City, it reached $1,017,320, up 21.11% from a year ago. The substantial jump is largely due to booming demand for detached homes, which saw sale volumes rise more than 4x the rate of condo apartments.

Greater Toronto Average Sale Price Change

The annual percent change of the average sale price of all homes.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Sales See Biggest July In Over 10 Years

Speaking of sale volumes, Greater Toronto real estate sales saw a major increase in home sales last month. TRREB reported 11,081 sales in July, up a massive 28.92% from the same month before. The City of Toronto represented 3,577 of the sales, up 15.01% over the same period. Last year was an unusually slow year, so a little growth wouldn’t have been surprising. The biggest July in at least a decade is a little more surprising. Most of this growth was due to detached homes in the suburbs.

Greater Toronto July Home Sales

The total home sales across TREB by year, for the month of July.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

New Listings Are Soaring In The City, Not Keeping Up In The 905

Greater Toronto real estate also saw a surge of new inventory last month. TRREB reported 17,956 new listings in July, up 24.75% compared to the same month last year. The City of Toronto represented 6,930 of those listings, up a massive 45.52% compared to last year. The suburbs didn’t quite increase as much as sales, but the city’s jump in new listings grew three times faster than sales. Basically, there’s a lot more pressure on prices in the suburbs than there is in the City, which is actually seeing pressure released.

Greater Toronto Sales To New Listings

The number newly listed units per month, in contrast to sales.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

The new listings trend also amplified the total inventory trend, which is seeing more inventory in the city. TRREB reached 15,018 active listings in July, down 16.28% from last year. The City represented 6,129 of those listings, up 16.41 over the same period. The suburbs are seeing much tighter inventory, while the City is seeing inventory starting to loosen up.

Greater Toronto July Active Listings

The total of active home listings across TREB by year, for the month of July.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

Greater Toronto is following a current North American wide trend – flight to the suburbs. There’s been a surge of real estate sales, and this is due largely to the detached suburban segment. Suburban inventory is becoming significantly tighter than last year. Meanwhile in the City, sales are rising – but not as fast as inventory, which is growing at three times the pace. It’s important to remember year-to-date sales are down, so this may be a demand lag from pandemic months. The rally may disappear as demand catches up, but in the meantime there’s still a lot of pressure on prices – especially in the suburbs.

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  • Reply
    Ethan Wu 3 years ago

    A lot of statistical impossibilities this month.

    • Reply
      Fazid 3 years ago

      TRREB must think we’re idiots if we’re buying the city and suburbs had the same median price, two years in a row.

      • Reply
        alvi 3 years ago

        Not sure I undestand what you are saying the median price caluclated is based on what was tranacted on yearly basis, which represents a fraction of housihg stock, it is NOT the median price of outstanding housing stock out there as that would require the complete turnover of housing stock

  • Reply
    Jason Chau 3 years ago

    Why pay the premium to live in the city if everything’s shut down permanently? Might as well move to the suburbs and get some more space.

  • Reply
    alvi 3 years ago

    Shutting down Toronto on a permament basis would lead to the collapse of Ontarion and Canada whcih is possible if the whole world collapses. For all you out there, dont count on it, the world only ends once in which case who cares what you paid for your house

    • Reply
      RainCityRyan 3 years ago

      it doesn’t need to be a complete shutdown. it just needs to be a large enough impact to the “lifestyle” that the marginal buyer decides to go elsewhere.

      It doesn’t need to be “everyone out to the burbs” it just needs to be a couple percent to make a real impact.

  • Reply
    Honli 3 years ago

    Im surprised the victims of this government propped up real estate bubble are not revolting.

    People are truely sheep.

  • Reply
    alvi 3 years ago

    Agreed but the post was suggesting a complete shutdown in Toronto. On your point, would be interesting to see an sensitvity analysis, weighted by housing type

  • Reply
    zalzon 3 years ago

    Let’s take a ride,
    And run with the dogs tonight,
    In suburbia.

    Sounds like BS data from a real estate group.

  • Reply
    Asterix1 3 years ago

    All these “experts” keep saying prices are going up! They are not!

    Sales mix has drastically changes, first time buyers (lower priced) has diminished % wise of the total. There are more higher priced units/homes being sold presently as a % of total vs last year.

    RE industry (media) say that as prices going up, market on fire. Yes, they are. But in reality prices are heading south all over the board. Falling values, market has changed!

    Dont get fooled by them….

  • Reply
    alvi 3 years ago

    Percentage of Higher priced homes skewing averages is hardly a bearish data point.(This is the opposite to what was happening in last 2-3 years when the market was supposed to collapsed according those other “experts”.

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