The greater Toronto market continued unchecked in August. The torrid pace that the Toronto and area market place for residential resale properties has been setting throughout 2015 continued in August. August’s results firmly put the Toronto market on track to shatter all previous resale records. At the end of August Toronto area realtors had sold 72,198 residential properties, more than 10 percent than the same period last year. With only 4 months left in 2015, the market is on pace to see 102,000 properties sold by the time we ring in 2016. The previous best year for the Toronto market was 2007 when Toronto realtors sold 93,193 properties. Last year 92,783 properties were reported sold.
There were 7,998 reported sales for August, 5.7 percent higher than the 7,568 sales achieved in August 2014. Sales were up in almost all categories except for detached and semi-detached properties in Toronto’s 416 trading districts. These housing types were down by 8.5 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively. These declines were not due to a lack of demand. Rather they were due to the low inventory levels for these types of properties. This was evidenced by the fact that notwithstanding the decline in sales volume, average sale prices for detached and semi-detached properties were up by 12.9 and 5.5 percent. Overall sales volume was driven by property sales in Toronto’s 905 trading areas and condominium apartment sales.
Properties having a sales volume of $ 1 Million or more had a strong month, once again. In August 763 properties in this category were reported sold, representing almost 10 percent of the entire market. Surprisingly given that it was August, and August is generally a slow month for high end sales, 100 properties having a sale price of $ 2 Million or more we reported sold. The bulk of these sales, namely 104 of them, were detached properties, with 4 condominium apartments, 1 semi-detached property and 1 condominium townhouse rounding out this total.
196 Old Forest Hill Road, Toronto | $2,249,000
Detached properties in Toronto’s central districts remain the most expensive real estate in the greater Toronto area. In August it cost $1,703,337 to purchase the average priced detach home. This is a record for this housing type. What makes it startlingly is that this record was achieved in August. Notwithstanding that we were approaching the last days of summer, high end buyers were in the market in Toronto’s central districts. Not only were they buying, but they were doing so at a brisk pace. All central district sales took place in only 21 says, and at 99 percent of the asking price.
59 Vernon St, Toronto | $649,000
The same was true for semi-detached properties. The average sale price for a semi-detached property in Toronto’s central districts came in at $881,836, 41 percent higher than the closest rival trading area, which was the eastern districts. They came in (on average) at $621,700. The demand for semi-detached houses in the central districts was voracious. All semi-detached homes sold in just 17 days and for a sale price of 104 percent of the asking price. In the eastern districts semi-detached properties sold even faster, only 13 days, and for 106 percent of their asking price.
Throughout 2015 condominium apartment sales have consistently strengthened and with the increase in the volume of sales, average sale prices have also increased. Condominium apartment sales represent (in August) 26.5 percent of the total reported sales in the greater Toronto area. The percentage is higher if compared only to 416 area sales. This market sector is no longer just an alternative for Toronto area buyers, but an accepted and dominate housing force, only exceeded by detached property sales (45.9 percent of the greater Toronto area market).
3500 Lakeshore Rd, Oakville | $898,000
Notwithstanding the growing importance of condominium apartment sales, they do not take place as quickly as freehold sales, nor for the high prices achieved by detached and semi-detached properties. In August all condominium apartments in the City of Toronto sold for $406,587, up 10 percent compared to August 2014. In the central districts the average sale price was substantially higher, coming in at $456,747. Condominium apartments took 32 days to sell, and their sale prices came in at only 98 percent of their asking prices.
Heading into September and what is traditionally viewed as the beginning of the fall market, sellers, particularly of detached and semi-detached properties, are in the driver’s seat. At the beginning of September there will only be 15,997 active listings for buyers to purchase, over 10 percent fewer than the 17,882 that were available last year. More than 40 percent of those listings will be condominium apartments. The combination of strong sales and low inventories has resulted in only 1.9 months of available inventory in the greater Toronto area, and only 2.2 months of inventory in the City of Toronto, where the bulk of available properties are condominium apartments. These conditions, coupled with no increase in the current, low, mortgage interest rates, suggest that it will continue to be a seller’s market throughout the remainder of this year and into 2016.