Toronto

Toronto Real Estate Prices Hit 18 Month High For Growth, Most Sales Since 2016

Toronto real estate is ripping higher, into the time of year it typically slows down. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) data shows improvements for most numbers in August. Generally speaking, the market saw a surge of sales and drop in inventory, sending price growth to the highest level in over a year.

Toronto Real Estate Prices Rise The Most In 18 Months

The price of a home across Greater Toronto is moving higher, and is approaching an all-time high. TREB reported the composite benchmark, a.k.a. a typical home, reached $802,400 in August, up 4.92% from last year. The City of Toronto pushed to an even higher $887,800, up 5.92% over the same period. Price growth is being driven primarily by condo apartments, with a jump in sales volume in the 905.

Greater Toronto Benchmark Price

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

Source: TREB. Better Dwelling.

The annual rate of growth is accelerating as prices near the all-time high. Both TREB’s 4.92% and the City of Toronto’s 5.92% 12-month price increase sent numbers higher. The rate of growth is now the highest since January 2018. Prices are just 1.57% below the all-time high reached in May 2017.

Greater Toronto Benchmark Price Change

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

Source: TREB. Better Dwelling.

The median sale prices showed an even larger increase. TREB reported the median sale price of homes reached $699,888 in August, up 6.05% from last year. In the City of Toronto it increased to $685,000, up 7.45% from last year. The higher benchmark increase has to do with more pricey segments seeing a surge in volume. In the 905, detached homes were the largest driver of growth. In the City, it was semi-detached homes.

The average sale price of Toronto real estate jumped, but not quite as high as the other segments. TREB reported an average sale price of $792,611 in August, up 3.57% from last year. In the City of Toronto it hit $818,715, up 4.26% from last year. The driver here was condos in the 905, which saw the average jump 8.5% from last year.

Greater Toronto Average Sale Price Change

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

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Sales Hit Highest Level Since 2016

Toronto real estate sales made double digit gains, and hit the highest level since 2016 for the month. TREB reported 7,711 home sales in August, up 12.75% from last year. The City of Toronto represented 2,553 of the sales, up 4.58% from last year. This was the largest August since 2016, and in the past decade only 3 have printed bigger sales volumes. Looking at the breakdown, we can see the 905 is once again the driver, rising at twice the pace of the city.

Greater Toronto August Home Sales

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

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Faster rising suburban sales appear to be a trend, same with slowing volumes in the City of Toronto. TREB shows 60,177 home sales year-to-date (YTD) in August, up 12.19% compared to last year. The City of Toronto represents 21,586 of those sales, up 5.86% from last year. This tells us that YTD growth in the suburbs was almost twice the pace of the City. Higher growth on the month than YTD also confirms acceleration of sales volumes across the board. In the City, lower growth on the month than YTD also shows deceleration in Toronto proper. If that was too wordy, the takeaway is growth in the 905 is rising, while slowing in the City of Toronto.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Inventory Falls Over 11%

The number of newly listed homes for sale dropped last month. TREB reported 11,789 new listings in August, down 3.09% from last year. The City of Toronto represents 3,727 of those new listings, down 0.66% over the same period. The decline in new listings, but increase in sales, helped to cut down on total market inventory.

Greater Toronto Sales To New Listings

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

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Total inventory, called “active listings” made an even sharper drop than new listings. TREB reported 15,870 active listings in August, down 11.16% from last year. The City of Toronto represents 4,616 of the listings, down 3.99% over the same period. This is once again another confirmation that the 905 is heating up faster than the City.

Greater Toronto August Active Listings

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

Source: TREB, Better Dwelling.

Toronto real estate is seeing more sales, less inventory, and rising price growth. The 905 appears to be heating up faster than the City of Toronto, especially in terms of sales. The 905 is expected to see a bigger impact from the new first-time homebuyer program, which hits this week.

The first-time buying program only starts this week, but some buyers are trying to get ahead of the launch. Agents have anecdotally expressed an uptick in buyers trying to avoid the anticipated price inflation. The CMHC, administrators of the program, expect the program to inflate prices up to 0.5%. However, this is an organization that has a track record of understating the impact of measures.

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31 Comments

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  • Reply
    LT 2 weeks ago

    Government is doing everything they can to prop up prices until after the election. BOC is suppressing mortgage rates, launching a “limited” first-time buyer plan. The CMHC led with it’s suppose to help 100,000 people, but in actuality, using THERE numbers, it only works out to 40,000 people – or about 3 to 6 months worth of sales.

    • Reply
      Ethan Wu 2 weeks ago

      Agree, but I don’t know what government wouldn’t do that going into an election. The biggest need is to make people confident enough to continue to spend, and drive GDP going forward.

      The Bank of Canada made some interesting statements yesterday though. Mostly that even though wages are rising, people aren’t spending the increased wages. Cash hoarding means households are worried, even if they won’t openly say they are in consumer sentiment.

      Additionally, it looks like a rate cut is coming soon. CPI came in “higher than expected” due to “temporary” factors. CPI numbers are probably going to be gamed until Oct report, which I’m guessing will be a November cut.

      https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2019/09/fad-press-release-2019-09-04/

  • Reply
    Rob 2 weeks ago

    Predictable. EU anti-money laundering laws go in to effect in a few weeks. Everyone needs to sell or disclose their overseas holdings (or hope Brexit saves them from disclosure).

    Glad everyone forgot about the $30 billion in laundered cash, and is providing a little liquidity. Real swell of everyone.

  • Reply
    glm 2 weeks ago

    TREB released the numbers for Aug, sales up 13 percent YOY (still historically low though) and avg price up 3% (flat for detached and up 6% for condos) MOM sales and prices down. Avg Sales down -10% from last month and prices down -1.7% from July 2019. As you could see sales MOM showing signs that the bull trap could be slowing down because last year MOM (from July to aug) sales were flat, now its down over 10 percent

  • Reply
    Millennial Whinger 2 weeks ago

    How can prices go up while the general population has reigned in their spending?

    I’ve been watching listings for a few years in areas I would like to purchase my next property in, and prices certainly haven’t been trending up.

    Something seems amiss here.

    Perhaps people are buying more property for the same dollar, but have access to more dollars (debt) due to banks dropping their rates. The would skew averages higher while prices move lower.

    • Reply
      John 2 weeks ago

      Seconded, I don’t see widespread uptrend in pricing in the GTA, east of Toronto.

      Except, in Townhomes, freehold and condo.
      Detached are certainly cheaper on a dollar/quality basis.

    • Reply
      Neo 2 weeks ago

      It’s because condos are driving prices higher. If you have been looking for a detached they’ve been flat.

  • Reply
    J. Beresford-Tipton 2 weeks ago

    The truth is everyone wants to be in Toronto and they’re willing to pay whatever it costs to live there. Think of Toronto real estate in the same category as fine art, or precious gems coveted by the world’s most affluent and influential investors. The very scarcity only enhances its worth for those who have the means and are willing to pay a premium well in excess of any brick and mortar considerations.

    • Reply
      New Yorker 2 weeks ago

      lol. This is what people said in New York right before the Great Recession. Prices still haven’t recovered and miraculously, companies and people realized moving everyone to Hoboken makes everyone happier.

      Lower overhead, and people don’t really mind moving a short train ride away. Currently people are actually leaving NYC for the first time since 9/11. Your local market is always the best in the world, until people that live there realize they have other options.

      • Reply
        MOFO 2 weeks ago

        NYC prices indeed surpassed the peaks of 2008 — it took until 2015/16

        Have you been to NYC recently ?

        • Reply
          New Yorker 2 weeks ago

          > NYC prices indeed surpassed the peaks of 2008 — it took until 2015/16

          Nah, they really didn’t.

          https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYXRSA

          > Have you been to NYC recently ?

          Does living here count? If not, once a week when I need to schlep back from the Jersey City office.

          Have you been here recently, all knowing Toronto resident? Council had to pass a new measure last month to start measuring commercial space, since vacancies are rising to the point where commercial rents have fallen 25% percent.

      • Reply
        SH 2 weeks ago

        NYC’s worst mayor ever, Bill DeBlasio, has had quite a bit to do with that. Assuming the next mayor isn’t a far-left loon (not a sure thing given NYC’s electorate), the city should recover.

        • Reply
          New Yorker 2 weeks ago

          Yeah, NYC having the best economy in recent memory is a real terror he’s inflicted on the City.

          • SH 2 weeks ago

            Well yes that is because Wall Street is gorging on record high returns on unearned wealth. Thank the central banksters for that, not The Worst Mayor Ever (TM). I doubt the average middle class wage earner finds much to cheer about when calculating the ratio between NYC salaries and cost of living (better than the same ratio in Toronto, I grant you). And with TWME (TM) reducing quality of life even further, why stay?

  • Reply
    Jupiter 2 weeks ago

    only way to stop this madness is charge a predatory real estate tax. Where none primary residential real estate is taxed at very high rates. This should facilitate increase in supply by forcing real estate ‘investors ‘ to stop hoarding residential real estate while Canadian families can’t afford a place to live.

    To make sure the sell off is orderly we need to have non primary residential real estate property tax increase over a 3 year period from +50% – 500%. No one should be rentiering while ppl can’t afford to live with dignity.

    It’s election year time to act.

    • Reply
      Millennial Whinger 2 weeks ago

      Do you have any other ideas? You’ve posted this several times now. You are obviously thinking about this a lot.

      • Reply
        Jupiter 2 weeks ago

        Well I least I have ideas, you just whine. Stop crying because you have no skills and low income so your own hope in life is buying some house and hope it goes up in value. sad really.

        Other people want to spend their time and money on other things than paying mortgage.

  • Reply
    TellTheTruth 2 weeks ago

    Again, it’s the number fudging by this syndicate. The MLS stands for ‘Multiple Listing Service’. Multiple listings for the same property so when one sells, two different Listing Numbers get applied as two sales. If anyone wants to check it out, go to Realtor.ca and you can see this. Not every property has 2 listings but a large amount of them certainly do in the ‘905’. Especially in Miss/Oakville/Burl.

    • Reply
      Millennial Whinger 1 week ago

      Hilarious. It’s easy to throw out negative personal comments when you don’t know who you are directing them to.

      Your assumptions are wildly incorrect. Try again.

  • Reply
    Nadia Saloojie 2 weeks ago

    Toronto average detach prices will hit 2.34m by the end of 2020, those who are broke will always stay broke. So buy before you miss out, average thinks average. Be smart and think long term.

    • Reply
      Jin 2 weeks ago

      Correction, those that are wealthy will stop using Canadian dollars and/or move. You’re saying broke like you’re wealthy, but if your home is your primary source of wealth (or even if you think real estate is your primary driver of income), you’re most likely middle class (unless 70% of the population is wealthy according to you).

      More likely the same thing that happened in the 90s will happen. Actually wealthy people and professionals that have options (real skills are mobile) will move to the US (rising credit devalues earnings if you’re smart enough to realize that), and have a lower cost of living.

      That’s ignoring the fact that you’re a Realtor that just made a forward statement with a specific price point, which will make you liable to your regulator.

    • Reply
      SH 2 weeks ago

      Current 416 average for a detached is 1.3 mil. You’re saying they’ll rise nearly 80% in the next year? That sounds rational.

  • Reply
    FDP 2 weeks ago

    People are starting to wake up and realize that our interest rates are low, the market is flatish and the economy is doing alright…. so it would seem to be a good time to buy and get ahead. Long game. Pessimissim might turn to regret. So up-up -up the Fall market (and beyond) goes. Good ol’ golden horseshoe.

    • Reply
      Jin 2 weeks ago

      The Bank of Canada just yesterday said the economy is not doing well, and they expect it to show up in the second half of 2019. But I’m sure the anonymous Realtors that came out of the woods today are right. Unnecessary credit expansion, like lower rates, weakens the value of the loonie.

  • Reply
    cto 2 weeks ago

    As the New York resident said about Manhattan/New York. People finally noticed that they where missing out on a better life outside what they were brainwashed into believing was a Utopian paradise. Then they started selling and moving to get a better life, not to far away, in places that they would have previously scoffed at.
    Toronto’s no different, jobs abound inside and outside of metro and the GTA.
    I can tell you that living and working in Barrie or Guelph, or St Catherine’s provides a better life style for you and your family. If you are single, you can actually start a family in those places, and start saving for retirement.

  • Reply
    DB 2 weeks ago

    nadia saloojie you silly…hehehe

  • Reply
    FDP 2 weeks ago

    Easy there, little bear
    I’m not a realtor, just simply stating my opinion on “Toronto Realestate
    Prices Hit 18 month High for Growth, most sales since 2016”
    The Golden Horseshoe in Ontario is where everyone wants to be to work because it’s the money hub of Canada. When you want to retire/enjoy you move to BC.
    This will age well. Lol.

  • Reply
    Kevin N 1 week ago

    I’m baffled as to why the government keeps pumping the real estate market like this. These prices have become completely detached from income or any fundamentals and historically that’s a recipe for complete disaster. Essentially what they’ve done is priced a whole generation out of the real estate market to support who? I’d say they are mostly supporting a bunch of domestic and foreign investors who have made a career out of flipping/hoarding properties in Toronto and Vancouver. They should have let the market correct back in 2008/9 with the American market.

    Technically, you have to wonder if this will do a double top, or go make new all time highs. This is insanity.

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