This is the recently released report of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board concerning the June 2022 results:
“July 6, 2022 – Higher borrowing costs continued to impact home sales in June 2022. Sales totaled 6,474 3 down by 41 per cent compared to last year’s strong result.
The number of transactions was also down compared to May 2022, but this is often the case due to the seasonal nature of the market. The average selling price, at $1,146,254, remained 5.3 per cent above the June 2021 level, but continued to trend lower on a monthly basis. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.9 per cent year-over-year, but also experienced a month-over-month dip compared to May.
Annual price growth was driven more so by less expensive market segments, including townhouses and condominium apartments.
“Home sales have been impacted by both the affordability challenge presented by mortgage rate hikes and the psychological effect wherein home buyers who can afford higher borrowing costs have put their decision on hold to see where home prices end up. Expect current market conditions to remain in place during the slower summer months. Once home prices stabilize, some buyers will re-enter the market despite higher borrowing costs,”
said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.
While the number of transactions was down year-over-year, the number of new listings was little changed over the same period. This has provided for more balance in the market, resulting in a more moderate annual pace of price growth.
“Listings will be an important indicator to watch over the next few months. With the unemployment rate low, the majority of households aren’t in a position where they need to sell their home. If would-be sellers decide to take a wait-and-see attitude over the next few months, it’s possible that active listings could trend lower as well. This could cause market conditions to tighten somewhat, providing some support for home prices,”
said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.”
TRREB always compares things to exactly one year ago. Sometimes that provides rather odd comparisons. That’s why I don’t do that, in this report.
Here are the average sale prices as reported by TRREB for single family homes of all types in the GTA, including houses, townhouses and apartments starting at the beginning of 2018 until now:
Average Prices Month
$734,837 January 1st
$735,874 January 31st
$749,019 January 1st
$747,175 January 31st
$838,662 January 1st
$838,087 January 31st
$932,297 January 1st
$966,068 January 31st
$1,157,861 January 1st
$1,242,149 January 31st
For those following these numbers on a monthly basis, please note that some of the recent sales numbers in 2021 and 2022 have had to be restated. A few transactions may have fallen through and not closed as originally scheduled. Consequently, TRREB deletes them and re-enters them in the proper month. That will throw the average prices off by a few hundred dollars if you are looking back at previous monthly reports for consistency. Changes are more likely for the most recent months.
You will notice that the market is now at $1,146,254, which is now just below the all time peak of $1,334,328 achieved in February 2022.
What usually happens each year? The market starts off in January, rises in February, gains momentum in March and April and reaches its peak for the year in May. The market declines in June, declines in July and then bottoms out in August. In September, it reverses itself and rises once again, and in October, it reaches its second peak for the year. In November, the market declines, as it does again in December, and the cycle repeats itself the following year.
For 2022, we were off to a fairly predictable start. The market got going in January, and rose again in February. The surprise was a slight dip in March. Then, we faced further declines in April and May which should have been the top of the market for the year. The decline in June is actually predicable, and we should ordinarily expect further slight declines in July and August, before we see some upward momentum in September. But, who knows!
Why is this? What does this mean? Could we have a major fall like we experienced in 2017. Overall, that was just under a 20% decline from April to August. This year from February to June, we have seen a 14.09% decline. That’s across the board. Some areas and some segments of the market are higher and lower than that.
Let’s undertake an analysis with respect to the rates of return achieved over the last several years. The purpose of this calculation is to smooth out the returns over a longer time period to produce more accurate results. This avoids the rise and fall in a month or two and notably the reference to the exact same month a year ago, which may not be a particularly relevant calculation. You will notice that TRREB refers back 12 full months for comparison purposes. The results should always look reasonably good, because after all, that was a year ago. As you go forward, there should always be good news to report. On the other hand, you would clearly see the ups and downs of the market if you looked at the monthly results. Hence, this report provides you with all those numbers.
The market has declined substantially a few times. Within the last three decades, there are three examples: 1990, 2008 and 2017. The first two are largely historical now.
We will start with 2017 which was a year with a peak in the market and the sudden drop.
2017 started with $730,472 and we are now at $1,146,254, that’s an increase of $569,422 which is a 56.92% increase over the sixty six (66) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 10.84% annual increase.
2018 started with $734,837 and we are now at $1,146,254 , that’s an increase of $411,417, which is a 55.99% increase over the fifty four (54) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 12.44% annual increase.
2019 started with $749,019 and we are now at $1,146,254 , that’s an increase of $397,235, which is a 53.03% increase over the forty two (42) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 12.63% annual increase.
2020 started with $838,662 and we are now at $1,146,254, that’s an increase of $307,592, which is a 36.68% increase over the thirty (30) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 14.67% annual increase.
2021 started with $932,297 and we are now at $1,146,254, that’s an increase of $213,957, which is a 22.95% increase over the eighteen (18) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 15.30% annual increase
So, what’s the percentage rate of increase to the end of June?
From 2017 10.84% calculated
From 2018 12.44% calculated
From 2019 12.63% calculated
From 2020 14.67% calculated
From 2021 15.31% calculated
The most accurate number here is the 10.84% annual increase from the beginning of 2017. It’s the longest time period, and is therefore the most steady and accurate. Historically, over one thousand years of history we have seen increases of over 5% per annum. So, this is certainly not new! Typically, for the GTA we might expect 6.5% annually in terms of increases. This is a fairly consistent pattern. Right now, we are substantially more than that.
We do run into a substantial difficulty with many buyers from 2017. If you bought in April 2017 at the peak, you paid $919,614. That property is now worth $1,146,254, that’s an increase of $226,640 which is a 24.65% increase over the sixty two (62) month period. Expressed over 12 months, that’s a 4.77% annual increase. You can appreciate what a significant difference is made by using a different starting point for the purposes of the calculation. Just four months, and we either have 10.84% (January) or 4.77% (April).
It does speak to the decision for those who faced closing in 2017 after paying the high prices. They actually broke even in June 2020, while those who failed to complete have suffered substantial losses, with no property at all to show for it. In some cases, they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are now well ahead of just having their money sit in the bank. The message is clear: if you can close, do so, and hold on, because at some point the market will reward you. Those who closed have now achieved a positive rate of return. Those who failed to close have simply lost all of their money, without anything today to show for it.
Volume of Sales
Here are the sales over the last number of years. It’s important to be aware that potentially, there is a great deal of interest. It was only when the market skyrocketed and then plunged in 2017, that many prospective purchasers were frightened to participate. To a certain extent they have returned but there is very limited supply. That make it a “super-sellers’ market”. As more and more inventory arrives, the market is likely to transition, but in all probability it will remain a “sellers’ market” until the end of 2022, and for several years to come until we have substantial inventory.
Despite recent media commentary indicating that it has become a buyers’ market, there are really no statistics to support that. Prices have come down, but you must appreciate that they rose very quickly, and this might not be anything more than a rationalization. Also, we have just seen interest rates increase. Since most buyers in the market require financing, this restricts their total buying power.
Here are the traditional yearly sales:
Here are the current monthly sales:
We are down quite a bit from last year. We are short 22,744 transactions compared to last year. The buyers are still there, there are just on the sidelines.
To a certain extent we are witnessing a repeat of the 2017 market. We see Buyers who overpaid in February and March seeing that their own homes didn’t sell for what they expected and the purchased property doesn’t appraise successfully. This may force them into default over the next several months.
In early February, we would often see 20 bidders per house; that dropped down to 10, and now to just a few. So, consistently, we still have many bidding wars, just 3 or 4 participants, but these are now the ones who can afford it. Also, we see many properties listed, taken down off the market, and relisted since they did not receive any Offers on their scheduled offer date.
It’s important to appreciate that we will not see a balanced market until we see about 5 month’s worth of inventory on hand. Right now, we are still at about one month’s inventory.
Supply is the issue. Delays by municipalities with respect to development are the problem. It takes 7 years to develop property in Ontario, but only 7 months in Texas. They must be much quicker with the paperwork!
Notwithstanding all the political comments about the shortage of inventory, municipalities have increased their development charges. For the City of Toronto these increases were 49% across all types of properties. For singles and semis, this went from $93,978 to $139,830 or an extra $45,858 which will be passed on to the Buyers
Some market trends that we have been seeing:
- Increase in the demand for cottages,
- Increase in demand for properties with backyards (semis and detached)
- Increase in demand for properties in the suburbs and outlying areas
- Toronto based families looking to relocate to the 905 and 519 areas
- 905 based families looking to relocate to 519, 705 and 613 areas
- Baby boomers staying in place rather than downsizing
- Renewed interest in downtown condos
- Families who temporarily relocated out of Toronto during Covid, returning
It’s impossible to predict the future, but we can certainly observe the current trends in the marketplace to give us some guidance.
It looks like the impact of Covid is over, at least when it comes to residential real estate. All properties in Ontario have become more valuable. More and more individuals will work from home. Commuting times and traffic had become quite onerous. Recently, we have seen a substantial increase in gas prices which should result in many consumers turning to electric vehicles. That transition could easily take more than a decade.
Commercial offices have been in a transition. At first, employees were reluctant to return to work, but now, they just need more space. So far, there has not been that much of an impact. Retail spaces seem to be recovering somewhat, but for the last two years the consumer has been forced to resort to the internet, and has become quite accustomed to the practice.
If you would like to discuss the market, please give me a call at 647-404-8150.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker