Toronto Market Update for December 2018

09 January 2019
Life and the City



Toronto home sales in December of 2018 were down by 14% year-over-year, while sale prices continued to moderately grow.  This is due, in part, to higher borrowing costs coupled with the new mortgage stress test, as well as lower inventory. After spiking in 2017, new listings receded markedly in 2018. In many neighbourhoods, despite fewer sales from a historic perspective, some buyers still struggled to find a home meeting their needs, resulting in a continuation of a moderate year-over-year pace of home price growth in the second half of last year. Price growth was strongest for less expensive home types, namely the condo segment, as many home buyers sought more affordable home ownership options.

While the average sale price of detached homes in the City of Toronto fell to $1,145,892, down 8.0% from last year, all other property types saw an increase last month. The condo segment had the greatest gains, with an average increase of about 7.8% year-over-year across the GTA and an 11.6% increase in Toronto alone.

It is important to note that market conditions actually improved in the second half of 2018, both from a sales and pricing standpoint.

Summary of significant real estate milestones for Toronto and GTA markets in December 2018

  • Lowest number of December sales since 2012 (6,251)
  • 2018 had the fewest SOLD homes (77,426) since 2008
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings was lower at 33.1% in December – This is just barely into seller market territory
  • The average sale price came in at $750,180– which was up just 2.1% compared to December 2017 – Those mortgage ‘stress-test’ financing rules from this past January have seriously affected our market
  • For only the 2nd time since 1997 we had a negative appreciation number (-4.3%) for the 2018 year-end average selling price compared to 2017
  • Note that this overall market average was just 2.7% higher than 2 years ago in December 2016
  • Overall sales in the month were down 22.5% from one year ago
  • The GTA real estate market overall averaged the days-on-market at 31 – the slowest it’s been for the month since 2014
  • Detached home sales in December 2018 with a purchase price over $2,000,000 (66) were down 38% from last year (106)
  • Affordability considerations are now shifting the market more to a condominium lifestyle – CONDO sales took a 39.4% share of the total market 
  • Downtown condo active listing numbers were lower in C01 by 22% and up in C08 by 22% from last year at this time
  • December sales were down 22% in C01 and lower by 45% in C08 compared to 2017
  • The downtown condo days-on-market average was 20-21 days – significantly faster than the overall market 
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings for condos downtown were higher in C01 (69%) than in C08 (49.3%) for the first time this year due to the increased listing inventory in C08 but still much higher than in the overall market.
  • The average sale price for downtown condominium suites is up by roughly $70,000 from December 2017
  • Building on this higher demand due to better affordability, condo appreciation in the two main downtown markets averaged 11-12% year-over-year
  • Markets in York Region and other 905 neighbourhoods have suffered the most from the market slowdown – York Region is now showing that they’re in ‘buyer market’ territory
  • Expect sales and inventory to pick up as we progress out of January and approach the spring market where listings and buyers are most active - buyers should watch for more pricing opportunities to get the condo or house of their dreams.

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