According to the latest statistics published by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), real estate markets farther away from Toronto continue to have greater price growth and tighter conditions when compared to the big city.
Yes, TRREB has indicated the market continues to set records with 8,766 sales reported in November, which is up by 24.3 per cent compared to the same period last year. But, much of the double-digit growth was once again outside the city of Toronto.
The average home price dropped from last month in the city of Toronto and throughout the GTA from $968,318 to $955,615 or just approximately 1.5 per cent.
“Home buyers continued to take advantage of very low borrowing costs in November, especially those looking to buy some form of single-family home,” said Lisa Patel, TRREB president. “Competition between buyers for ground-oriented homes has been extremely strong in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, which has continued to support double-digit annual rates of price growth.”
Real estate listings are also up from 2019 across the GTA, but less so in the areas outside of Toronto indicating that conditions will remain tight in outer-lying regions while urban areas might be set to experience some softening.
Although, the local market is still vibrant, according to one realtor.
“We are still seeing an appetite for homeownership in the freehold market of townhouse, semi-detached and detached, with multiple offers still happening mostly in the semi-detached segment,” says Toronto realtor Jamie Dempster. “Although due to slower condo sales and less confidence in the condo market, there are less offers on offer night than earlier in the year, keeping prices down compared to what we usually would have seen.”
According to TRREB statistics, year-over-year price growth in the city of Toronto ranges from a decrease of 3 per cent for condos to an 8.8 per cent increase for semi-detached homes whereas the 905 range in prices was from 4.8 per cent to 19.2 per cent.
Dempster says the low-interest rates and current market conditions are resulting in many homeowners advancing the timeline on plans to trade-up to larger or detached homes sooner than originally planned. And, if buyers need to move away from the downtown core to do so, then they are. And that’s being reflected in the statistics.
The trend is one that CIBC economist Benjamin Tal commented upon during a recent interview for TRNTO.com.
“That trend started way before the crisis, as we all know, this is not new. Every crisis is a trend accelerator. And this crisis is no different in the sense that it accelerated this trend,” he explained. “Will we continue this trend? Absolutely not. When we are on the other side of this crisis, people will rethink this approach, it will continue, but not at the current rate.”
Tal predicted a softening of the market as the GTA gets fully into the winter season, but there will be good news down the line towards the third and fourth quarters of 2021 when the COVID-19 vaccine and increased immigration begin to take hold.
“I believe that the economy will be very strong in the second half of the year, especially in the summer and into October, November when the vaccine will be widely available,” Tal says. “That’s one of the reasons why I’m so optimistic about the second half of the year, when the economy I believe will rise by four, five, six per cent including some nice improvement in the housing market.”
With Toronto lagging behind other areas of the GTA, especially in the condo market where prices grew by just 2.55 per cent over the last year, indications are, according to Tal, that there is a good buying opportunity ahead.