New year started strong across the Toronto real estate market. There are more sellers coming to the market. New listings went up by 10.5 per cent, with 9,456 properties listed for sale. With 11,962 active listings, the inventory seems to be finally filling up and the market might finally stabilize itself.
Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,009 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2019 It only makes 0.6 per cent more sales in a year-over-year comparison, but it's certainly better than December numbers.
Detached homes are having a revival on the market, with sales up by 3.5 per cent. Townhouses were as well popular in January with a 2.5 per cent rise. As for semi-detached homes and condos, they went both down by 5.3 and 2.4 per cent respectively in the GTA. But the condominium segment wasn't doing that bad in the 905 area, where sales were up 6.7 per cent this month.
As for the average price, the GTA collective price was up slightly by 1.7 per cent, reaching $748,328. However, the location and home type varied with its pricing. Detached homes were down by 2.8 per cent in the entire GTA. Average price for the whole Greater Toronto area was $941,488 in January. In the 905 area, the price was only slightly elevated and in 416 prices went down by 8.8 per cent.
Semi-detached homes and townhomes were up by 3.6 and 4.6 per cent respectively across the GTA, with average prices coming at $742,738 and $641,028. Condominium segment had a steady rise both in 905 and 416 area, with prices up by 7.9 per cent. Average price for a condo unit in January 2019 was $548,176.
In general, it seems that the market is slowly stabilizing. The low inventory is slowly filling up and the sales are slightly elevated as is the average price across all the segments, but that might change in the turn of a month. Last few years in Toronto were Seller's market, with elevated prices and low inventory. Now, it's slowly turning, to entirely to become a buyer's market, but to finally level off those scales and give equal opportunities to both parties.
Richard Silver, Sales Representative, SVP-Sales
It has been year after year of Seller’s markets in Downtown Toronto and we are now seeing the softening, not to a Buyer’s market but to a balanced market. Properties are now negotiable and if a Seller focuses too much on the past sales for establishing a price, they will be left on the market.
That is not to say that prices have dropped remarkably but that properties will probably sit on the market for more than three days, there may not be multiple offers, and offers may not settle over asking.
Working with agents who are creative and who have been through a changing market, is the best advice that we can give. We may start to see "Vendor-take-back Mortgages" and even VTB’s that get sold to net out cash for the seller.
I look forward to an active few months and of note we seem to be listing and selling homes as the second listing agent. We are calm and just believe in scoring what it takes to get the Seller the best the market can offer, with a professional team of Downsizers, Cleaners, Stagers, Photographers and Marketers and we are just a call away.
Jim Burtnick, Broker, SVP-Sales
Looking back over the last year in real estate sales/activity and with an eye to the year ahead, I can say that we have seen and will continue to see several changes. Namely;
- A market that is not setting ever-higher, record-setting numbers. We are entering a more "balanced" and overall "healthy" marketplace. After all, prices and sales could not be going up at the rates they were over the past few years.
- Buyers are feeling like they have gained some of the "control" in the sales process back. No longer are many of listings seeing multiple offers. Rather, multiple offers on a listing are the exception and no longer the norm. Plus Buyers are now eerier of going into a competing offer situation - they would rather bid on a property where they are the only offer.
We at the Torontoism Team have adapted to the above changes in a few ways too:
- We are spending a lot more time and resources ensuring that a listing shows at their absolute and very best.
- We are targeting specific Buyer profiles to channel our marketing efforts toward; those most likely to be the eventual new owner.
As an aside, I am reminding all our clients of this: If you decide to work with a Realtor who has only been in the business 10 years or less, their only experience is with a Sellers' market. You may wish to consider working with a team of professionals who have been in the business 4+ decades!
Erin Haas, Sales Representative
I have noticed that most listings under the 2MM range are not sitting on the market very long. Buyers are getting themselves in the market with a sense of urgency, with the worry that prices will continue to rise. It has been a seller's market for many years, and we are now seeing the market begin to stabilize.
I have been hosting Open Houses every weekend for our listings and most buyers are looking for older properties with lower price points, hoping to remodel, restore, and renovate, to re-sell later for a profit or live in for a period of time before deciding to sell. I have noticed that there are fewer buyers under the 2MM price point looking for turn-key properties.
With the increased demand in the city, and the lack of supply, buyers are becoming more educated and in tune with the market and are more aware of the listings in their neighbourhoods. It will be interesting to see how the market changes, as more and more developments are built in the city to feed the demand and lack of inventory, and how there will be fewer properties in the lower price point, as people continue to purchase them and renovate, and communities continue to develop throughout the city.