Toronto’s April Market Report 2017

The Toronto and area marketplace behaved uncharacteristically in April. For the first time in many years the number of sales this month was fewer than the number of sales reported in the corresponding month the year before. In April there were 11,630 sales of residential properties in the greater Toronto area, a 3.2 percent decline compared to the 12,016 sales that were reported last year. The immediate question is – has the Toronto resale market changed?

A lot happened in April. The most important development was the provincial government’s announcement that it would be promulgating legislation to “help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the real estate market.” The most specific of these measures was the implementation of a 15 percent non-resident speculation tax on the price of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area purchased by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations, and the expansion of rent control to all private rental units in Ontario. Prior to the provincial announcement rental units in buildings built after 1991 were exempt. These two measures will take effect on April 21st and April 20th, respectively.

In April we also witnessed a dramatic increase in resale inventory. It was only a few months ago when inventory levels were 50 percent lower than they were a year ago. In just one month the negative variance was reversed. During the month, 21,630 new listings came to market, an increase of more than 33 percent compared to the 16,190 new properties that came to market in April 2016. At the end of the month there were 12,926 properties available to potential buyers, 3 percent more than the 12,554 available last year. It should be noted that even with the substantial number of new listings that came to market in April, supply levels are still historically low.

Notwithstanding the proposed “affordable” housing measures and the plethora of new listings that came to market, prices continued to rise, and sales continued to take place at lightning speed. In April, the average sale price for all property types in the greater Toronto area came in at $920,791, the highest average sale price on record, and almost 25 percent higher than the average sale price reported last year. In April 2016, the average sale price was only $739,762, interestingly, an all-time high record at that time.

The sales that took place did so at a record, blistering pace. All sales in the greater Toronto area took place in an unbelievable 9 days. Last year it took 15 days for all sales to take place which was a record for the month. Detached and semi-detached houses in the city of Toronto sold even faster. All detached properties sold in just 8 days. All semi-detached homes sold in 7 days. Even condominium apartments, historically selling slower than freehold properties, flew off the shelf in only 10 days.

Not only did all these property types, detached, semi-detached, and condominium apartments, sell at rapid speeds, but in every category, and at every price point, including the most expensive properties in Toronto’s central core, they sold for substantially more than their asking prices. There was not one housing type or trading area where the sale price was at or lower than the asking price. In many cases the average sales price exceeded the asking price by more than 120 percent.

Prepared by: Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

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