TREB’s August Numbers.
Toronto, September. 08, 2019
By Ivan Kalinin
Each month the Toronto Real Estate Board issues their report on pricing and sales. We try to interpret for our clients trends that seem to be developing and what it might mean to them. We zero in particularly on TREB areas C08 and E01 – Toronto’s Lower East Side – the neighbourhoods of St. Lawrence Market, The Distillery, Corktown, Regent Park, Cabbagetown, Riverside and Riverdale.
Clearly the cold and rainy spring we had has continued to push activity much deeper into the summer than is typical with last month’s total volume up 13.4% over last year. August’s numbers also seem to show something firming up that we started to note a few months back: that the pent up demand for detached homes, especially in the 905 region, is finally being acted upon, with sales up a blistering 24.5% over last year. Also, sale prices were uniformly below list prices, which might reinforce that sellers are coming back to pricing reality after the heady days of 2016 and 2017.
And even while sales were up, new listings continue to struggle. This increased demand and reduced supply, as always, means prices were up – between 4.1% and 7.3% from last year in lower-priced semis, towns and condos.
TREB Areas C08/E01 – Toronto’s ‘Lower East Side’
Sale prices were at or over asking prices in our LES (100% and 109% respectively) with Days on Market at or below (22 and 12) the GTA average of 22. That continues to tell us that E01 especially is in demand as a great neighbourhood, given its proximity and quick commute to the CBD. With sales/listing price ratio at 109, and E08 still having less than a month of inventory on hand, it’s a great signal that now may be a good time to list your condo or semi – before everyone jumps in.
So what’s the takeaway? I’d say:
- I still think it’s still a good seller’s market for condos/semis/towns, especially if you’re in E01, and a great time to lock in your capital gains, especially if you’ve owned for a few years.
- There is definitely pent-up demand out there for detached homes especially in the 905 – but with price expectation adjustments clearly in play, it takes very good marketing to sell for top dollar.
- GTA new condos are for now, in global terms, still a sound place to park money for gains in the medium/long term, although we’re seeing some new units pushing the $1,800/sf level (wow!) especially if you can afford downtown units. The recent moves by the provincial government to remove rent freezes on new buildings will take some time yet to percolate into the market.
- Variable mortgage rates are still higher than fixed-rate mortgages, which still seems to indicate the market expects the central bank to lower the prime rate further, so despite the 2017/2018 stress test introductions, increased qualification levels will likely stoke demand. And especially at the lower end of the market. That will keep the price pressures up. And will likely make people wait a bit to list, keeping inventory low.
Come and have a coffee with me if you want to talk more about what this means for you as a buyer or seller.
Ivan Kalinin is a sales agent at Key Toronto Real Estate Group. Zoocasa Realty Inc., Brokerage.
He can be reached at 416 858 8085. Not intended to solicit clients already under contract.