Toronto October Home Sales Down 7%, New Listings Fell by 34% From Last Year

Prospective homebuyers in the Greater Toronto Area found dramatically fewer homes on the market last month than they did a year ago, pushing sales down and prices up. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said that 9,783 homes in the region changed hands in October, down nearly 7% from a record 10,503 in October 2020.

Despite the fall, the result was still the second highest level for the month of October even as the number of new listings fell by about a third compared with a year ago. TRREB interpreted the numbers as a sign of tightening conditions in a market that is already among Canada’s most expensive and prone to some of the country’s most fierce bidding wars. The board said every housing type was impacted by the heated conditions, which included fewer people putting their homes up for sale than in 2020, when a pandemic buying frenzy was on the horizon.

“Everybody who wanted to break out of their space last year, got that itch and did it, so now there’s fewer people that want to break out of their space,” Davelle Morrison, a Toronto broker with Bosley Real Estate Ltd., said. “People are just kind of sitting pretty.”

TRREB’s data showed new listings decreased to 11,740 in October, a more than 34% drop from 17,806 during the same month in 2020. Active listings for last month totalled 7,750 compared with 17,313 in October 2020.

Morrison doesn’t expect listings to pick up much in the coming months or be as plentiful as they were last year, when health officials tried to deter people from December gatherings. Like in pre-pandemic years, she thinks people will put off home sales and purchases as the December holidays near and invitations to parties and family gatherings arrive. “People are going to turn their focus back to Christmas…so it’s a good opportunity for buyers to buy in December,” Morrison said. “But I still think that we’re going to see the usual January and the New Year’s resolutions, where people decide they have to go buy a place.”

Price relief is unlikely for those on the hunt for a home, though many are still benefiting from lower interest rates that were introduced to quell the impacts of the pandemic on the economy. The average home price of a home sold soared by almost 20% to nearly $1.2 million in October, up from $968,535 in the same month last year, TRREB said.

Detached homes averaged more than $1.5 million and semi-detached rang in at nearly $1.2 million, while townhouses hit $957,103 and condos reached $703,698. That amounted to year-over-year price growth of almost 28% for detached housing, 24% for semi-detached properties, 28% for townhouses and 13% for condos.

“There’s a lot of showing activity and there’s a lot of people out there trying to find condos,” said Morrison. “Condos are becoming so popular simply just because they’re more affordable than houses in Toronto.”

Source: Global News
Source: The Star

Calgary Sees Record October for Home Sales, on Track to Break Yearly Record

Calgary Real Estate Board says the region experienced a record number of home sales last month and the pace appears on track to continue. The Alberta board says the region saw 2,186 sales in October, up about 24% from 1,763 during the same month last year. The board says those figures are more than 35% higher than longer-term averages and put the 23,848 home sold this year on pace to reach a record high.

The board says the year’s sales are already 61% higher than average activity recorded over the past five years and 42% higher than 10-year averages.

The board also says new listings for October reached 2,500, up almost 2% from 2,460 the same month the year prior. While the benchmark price edged up by nearly 9% to $460,100 in October from $422,600 in October 2020.

Source: The Star

Vancouver Home Sales in October Down From Year Ago, Benchmark Price Up

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says October home sales in the region fell 5.2% compared with a year ago, but remained above historical averages. The board says home sales totalled 3,494 in October, down from 3,687 in October 2020. However, it says sales last month were 22.4% above the 10-year October sales average.

The drop in sales compared with a year ago came as the number of newly listed homes on the Multiple Listing Service fell to 4,049 for October compared with 5,571 a year ago. The total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS system in Metro Vancouver was 8,034, compared with 12,416 in October last year. The MLS home price index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver was $1,199,400, up 14.7% from October last year.

Source: The Star

With Detached Homes Achingly Out of Reach Canadians Pile into Condos Again

Priced out of the detached home market, many Canadians have returned to condo-hunting triggering a price surge in that market as well, according to a report by real estate brokerage. The Re/Max’s Canada 2021 Condominium Report, which examines trends and developments in five major Canadian centres and more than 100 sub-markets, found that buyers turned to condominiums in 2021, as freehold housing values escalated beyond their reach. 

“Double-digit acceleration in detached housing values revived slumping condominium sales early in the year, with demand shifting into high gear as supply dwindled and prices accelerated,” Christopher Alexander, senior vice president, Re/Max Canada said. “Younger buyers have been behind the push for condominiums to date, with most looking to lock in low interest rates and buy before prices climb beyond their means.”

Condos had briefly lost their charm amid COVID-19 fears along with Canadians looking for more room as many started working from home, but that led to a rapid increase in values across an already inflated detached home market. A separate report by Re/Max noted that single-detached homes led price gains this year, rising between 6.8% and 27.3% across 26 markets it surveyed. The real estate brokerage expects the trend to continue into the fall, driven by strong demand by young families.

The families who missed out on snagging a detached home have turned their attention to the condo market, especially as a downtown revival is slowly gaining momentum in some provinces. The strongest gains in condo sales were made in Western Canada, with Greater Vancouver and Calgary reporting condominium sales rising 87% and 83%, respectively in the first eight months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

“The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) led the East in terms of percentage increases in condo sales at 7%, followed by Halifax-Dartmouth at 36% and Ottawa at 29%,” the report noted. “The greatest upswing in pricing occurred in the East, with both Halifax-Dartmouth and Ottawa posting double-digit price gains of 30.0% and 18.0% respectively. More moderate appreciation was reported in Greater Toronto 7%), Vancouver (6.7%) and Calgary (3%).”

Average home prices in the GTA is up by 12.6% year-over-year to $1,070,911, while condo prices stood at $688,137 (an increase of 7.5% since the start of the year). Given the affordability of the smaller units, Greater Toronto Area’s condo sales accounted for 34.5% share of the overall market in the region, compared to 30.8% during the same period last year.

In Greater Vancouver — Canada’s most expensive real estate market —, condos accounted for 48.2% of all residential property sales during the eight-month period, up from 46% last year. The benchmark price for a detached Vancouver home is $1,828,200, compared to $744,221 for a condo (for gains of 6.7% since the start of the year).

“Share of market is expected to climb for condominiums in the next six to 12 months, as values for single-detached homes — which are up 25% to date — make condominium ownership the next best option,” Re/Max noted.

Halifax-Dartmouth area led the price gains in condo markets, rising 29.8% year-to-date to just under $400,000, followed by 17.5% increase in Ottawa to $420,654. The average price of a condo in Calgary is $263,480, an increase of 3% year-to-date.

Dwindling condo supply is expected to place upward pressure on prices in the months ahead, prompting more multiple offers on well-priced units in Greater Vancouver, Re/Max noted. It will be a similar story in the GTA. 

Rising prices in the GTA

The price of a new construction single-family home in the Toronto region hit a new record in September with the benchmark soaring 33.5% year-over-year to $1.57 million. A declining supply of detached, semi-detached houses and town homes, in the face of “incredibly strong demand,” fuelled by low interest rates is pushing prices skyward, said David Wilkes, CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), which represents home builders. However, the benchmark price for a new condo only rose 2% annually in Sept. to $1.04 million but declined from Aug. when it was $1.07 million, according to BILD. 

September saw the third highest number of condo sales (a category that also includes stacked town houses) for that month. The 2,488 units that sold was a decline from 2,754 last September but remained above the 10-year average. While the 1,073 single-family homes that sold in September was less than half of last year’s 2,349 and was 3% below the 10-year average.

Wilkes said the numbers likely reflect the condo segment’s recovery from the pandemic when buyers flooded the market for single-family homes. But if the lack of single-family home supply pushes more buyers to condos, that could potentially boost those prices higher.

In the third quarter, pre-construction condo prices rose about 10% annually to a record of $1,231 per sq. ft., The increase was greater in the 905 where prices climbed 17% year-over-year, crossing the $1,000 per sq. ft. mark for the first time. The average price in Toronto was up 7% annually to $1,328 per sq. ft.

There have been more than 16,000 condos launched for pre-sale in the last six months in the GTA and more than 75% have been pre-sold, said Urbanation president Shaun Hildebrand. “Now higher interest rates are coming into view, it will be important to see if we maybe get a pullback in demand especially now prices are high almost everywhere. We know cash flow is and certainly is going to be an issue for investors,” said Hildebrand.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board reported on October 29 that re-sale condos are back to being a sellers’ market. Selling prices were up 9% to $689,831 on average in the third quarter as listings plunged 31%.

Source: Financial Post
Source: The Star