The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released its resale housing market figures for September 2017, announcing a big drop in year-over-year sales and an increase in listings.
Last month, there were 6,379 sales reported through the MLS, which is a 35% drop compared to September 2016. There were 16,469 listings, which is a 9.4% jump year-over-year.
“The improvement in listings in September compared to a year earlier suggests that homeowners are anticipating an uptick in sales activity as we move through the fall,” says TREB President Tim Syrianos.
“Consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the spring suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong,” he adds. “As we move through the fourth quarter we could see some buyers moving off the sidelines, taking advantage of a better-supplied marketplace.”
Through summer, we kept saying that the fall market would be busier. TREB was saying it and still is, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) was saying it (still waiting on new home September figures), but September did not shape up as we expected.
TREB makes a good point that the solid increase in listings is a good sign that may entice some buyers to step off the sidelines and make a purchase. It’s a sign of confidence in the resale market. But when you get into the numbers and look at the sales, September had double digit drops for all housing types.
The smallest year-over-year drop in sales was of semis in the 416 area; there were 255, which is a 15.3% drop.
That said, sales are only half the equation. You can’t just look at a drop in sales and start predicting doom and gloom. We’re rolling off a year of record high sales and we’re just months into a new set of policies enforced by the province. A drop in sales makes sense.
More importantly, what’s happening with prices? The average selling price last month was $775,546, up 2.6%. That’s healthy and stable growth.
While sales dropped for all housing types, prices went up across the board except for detached homes in the 905, which dropped 1.7% to $912,921. The largest increase in selling price was for condos in the 416; the average went up 24% to $554,069.
“With more balanced market conditions, the pace of year-over-year price growth was more moderate in September compared to a year ago,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “However, the exception was the condominium apartment market segment, where average and benchmark sales prices were up by more than 20% compared to last year. Tighter market conditions for condominium apartments follows consumer polling results from the spring that pointed toward a shift to condos in terms of buyer intentions.”
So, sales are down, prices are up and steady. The resale market seems to be balancing out. We’re interested to see what’s going on in the new home market! We’ll have to wait another few weeks before those stats come in.