Canada's house sales remained strong in October, and this was no different in Toronto. While most housing types continue to sell steadily, the condo market can shuffle the cards unexpectedly. Developers are currently holding back on new launches and focusing more on selling unsold inventory. To keep sales and prices high, they're offering different incentives to potential buyers.
“We’re seeing a larger number of incentives and their absolute value has increased relative to past offerings, the market is definitely in a much more competitive state than last year.”
says Mimi Ng, vice-president of marketing at Menkes Developments, for the Globe and Mail.
City of Toronto
A total of 3,190 homes changed owners in October 2013 in City of Toronto, which is almost 20 per cent more than last year. The average selling price rose 10.3 per cent, from $538,120 in 2012 to $593,807 in October 2013.
The only red numbers last month were recorded in semi-detached home sales. Sales were down 2.4 per cent compared to last year, with 311 properties sold. Lower sales don’t represent fading demand for low-rise properties but rather their scarcity and owners’ reluctance to sell. The average price of these houses rose significantly by 11.7 per cent and is now $642,112.
Other types of properties recorded sales increases, ranging from 20.4 to 26.3 per cent.
Condo sales increased by more than a fifth — mainly due to the incentive strategy developers formed. Last month, 1,347 units sold for an average price of $384,441. Statistics claim a 7.2 per cent price rise.
Detached houses continue to sell remarkably well. Their sales increased 23.6 per cent year-over-year, with 1,125 houses changing owners in October 2013. The average price was up 12.4 per cent, to $873,507.
There were 355 townhouse sales reported last month, which is more than one-quarter above a year ago. The selling price, however, increased only 4 per cent, and buyers needed $473,240 for the purchase on average.
Rest of the GTA
A total of 4,810 properties sold through the TorontoMLS system in October 2013 in the 905 region. Sales rose by almost 20 per cent, while the average price for a property was up 5 per cent and is now $502,748.
Detached properties have been driving sales in the rest of the GTA area for some time. Almost 2,700 houses changed keys, and sales rose 15.4 per cent. High demand pushed prices upwards by 6.3 per cent, and this year, buyers paid $607,849 on average.
“Ground-oriented homes listed for below one million dollars in some areas of the GTA have been especially popular with buyers, while listings for these home types have been constrained.”
says Dianne Usher, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
Semi-detached properties sold as well as detached houses, with a sales jump of 15.5 per cent. There were 514 properties sold through the TorontoMLS system in October 2013, for an average price of $417,124. This is 6.7 per cent more than last year.
Townhouse sales jumped by more than one-fifth year-over-year, and 915 townhouses have new owners now. Despite the significant sales increase, the average selling price rose only by 6 per cent.
The condo market surpassed expectations with a 35.6 per cent sales rise year-over-year. Experts hadn't predicted the massive interest from buyers in the 905, as low-rise properties dominate the market, so the results surprised both realtors and buyers. There were 560 units sold over the past month for an average price of $295,166. Condo prices in the rest of the GTA rose the least compared to the other house types, making condo apartments the most affordable housing option currently available.
Greater Toronto Area
In October 2013, sales rose nearly 20 per cent and the average price increased by 7 per cent. There were 8,000 properties sold across the Greater Toronto Area, for an average price of $539,058.
“Growth in the average selling price and the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark will continue through 2014. Inventory levels for ground-oriented home types will be low from a historic perspective and home ownership demand will stay strong as affordability remains in check due to the continuation of accommodative borrowing costs,”
said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s senior manager of market analysis.
Detached houses are the most sought-after segment, and this reflected in 3,820 unit sales. This is an increase of more than 17 per cent. The average selling price was $686,087, which is 9 per cent more than in October 2012.
Condo apartments jumped high last month and ranked second in terms of sales. There were 1,907 units sold for $358,225 on average. The condo market became more interesting, and that reflected in a 24.5 per cent sales rise year-over-year. The average selling price remained low and increased 6 per cent.
There were 1,270 townhouses sold last month. This is more than a 25 per cent rise year-over-year. The average price for a townhouse increased 5.5 per cent to $405,118.
Despite successful sales in the City of Toronto, only 845 semi-detached properties sold last month. This represents a 7.8 per cent sales increase. The average price rose 7.4 per cent to $505,255.