Those who followed Toronto real estate in 2017 will be well aware that the year was full of ups and downs, leaving a mountain of confusion for those trying to make sense of it all. We observed record-high prices and sales in the first quarter, yet this was followed by a cooling period in summer after the Fair Housing Plan was implemented. Those in the real estate industry were hoping for a September comeback, as fall often sees a substantial increase in sales, but instead saw a sharp decrease in sales. In the final quarter sales finally started to pick up again, possibly because the impact of the Fair Housing Plan began to wane and likely because some buyers brought forward their plans to buy a house due to the looming of the new stress test guidelines active from January 1, 2018. This rollercoaster ride of a year saw plenty of statistics being thrown around, with some standing out more than others. Read on for the most shocking Toronto real estate statistics of 2017.
First Quarter Statistics
The start of 2017 saw the highest prices ever for Toronto Real Estate. Demand was high while supply was low, and the buying boom peaked in March with record sales and shocking prices to accompany them.
- The average price of a detached home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in January reached a record high of $1,316,325. A decade earlier it was just $444,368, just over a third of January’s price.
- February saw a record low level of supply with just 534 new detached homes available in the GTA. This had potential buyers worried as low supply indicates significant price increases to come.
- In February demand for houses surged to record levels, while listings were down a massive 50% year-over-year.
- In March sales leaped to a 15.2% increase year-over-year.
- March also saw substantial price increases as the average price of a home in the GTA rose to a massive 33.2% to $916,567.
- March marked the peak of the buying frenzy and homebuyers in the GTA spent an unbelievable $11,069,381,891 on property.
- Transactions in the City of Toronto alone accounted for $3,829,866,009 of that sum.
- In the March buying frenzy, GTA homes were on the market for an average of only ten days before being purchased, compared to 16 days in March 2016.
- Average listings on the last day of March were 7,865, 32.5% lower than March 2016’s total of 12,132.
- The GTA-wide sales-to-new listings ratio was 75.5% in March. The 40-60% range is considered to show market balance.
- The ratio was highest in Orangeville, where it hit 89.6%, suggesting the rate of home sales was nearly as fast as the speed new listings were posted.
Second Quarter Statistics
The housing boom in the first quarter was followed by a crash in the second, primarily influenced by the announcement of the Fair Housing Plan.
- Between April-August, detached home prices fell by 20% after the announcement of the Fair Housing Plan.
- June saw a 15.9% increase in listings, year on year as demand was so low.
Third Quarter Statistics
The third quarter of 2017 experienced a considerable drop in sales compared to a year earlier; however, prices were significantly higher than they were in the third quarter of 2016.
- GTA home sales in July were down 40.4% compared to July 2016. That’s 5,921 sales in July 2017 compared to 9,929 in July 2016. This number is also considerably lower than July sales over the past five years with 9,880 sales in July 2015, 9,198 sales in July 2014, 8,544 sales in July 2013 and 7,570 sales in July 2012.
- In July active listings were up 65.3% year-over-year at 18,751 in July 2017, compared to 11,345 in July 2016.
- In August sales of new homes were down 69% compared to August 2016, and 62% below the ten year average for August.
- Despite this, the price of a new multi-family home was up 34% to $644,327, and the average new single-family home was up 38% to $1289,298.
- The average price per square foot of a condo was $750 in August 2017, compared to $595 in August 2016.
- Residential property sales in the third quarter were at the lowest levels for any third quarter since 2002 at 18,657 units, down 37.2% compared to the third quarter of 2016.
- Only 7,769 detached homes were sold in the third quarter, down 43.6% year-over-year. This was the lowest level of detached home sales for any quarter since the first quarter of 2009.
- 1,800 semi-detached units were sold in the third quarter, down 34.1% year-over-year. Again, this was the lowest level of sales for any quarter since the first quarter of 2009.
- Condo townhouses in the third quarter showed the lowest sales in any third quarter on record at 1,412 sales, down 38% year-over-year.
- Condo apartments showed the most significant year-over-year price increase in the third quarter, up 21.9% compared to the third quarter of 2016.
Fourth Quarter Statistics
The market finally calmed down in the final quarter, leaving less shocking statistics to report as sales levels began to return to normal as buyers tried to get in before the implementation of the new stress test guidelines.
- Home sales in the GTA in November accounted for more than two-thirds of the national increase that month. National sales were up 3.9% from October, yet the GTA saw a 16% jump in sales.
The statistics above show a rollercoaster ride of a year for the Toronto housing market with severe ups and downs, dramatic price increases, record-highs, and record-lows. The great news for those looking to buy is that many experts are predicting that 2018 could be the year the housing market finally calms down. Supply has now increased, and experts predict that prices shouldn’t rise nearly as quickly in 2018 as they did in 2017. However, there is no telling what the future holds for Toronto’s housing market with new government policies and a significant predicted increase in demand for homes over the next five years. All we can say for sure about Toronto real estate is that it is unpredictable. Let’s just hope 2018 is a little more stable than 2017!