Greater Toronto Real Estate Prices Are Down 5%, Sales Drop Over 20%

See the complete article in Better Dwelling

Toronto real estate prices are split on where they should be heading. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) numbers show prices fell in May, but the city remained positive. The softer prices were largely due to declining sales, leaving more inventory unabsorbed.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Prices Are Down Over 5%

The benchmark price across Greater Toronto continues to see price gains fall. TREB reported a benchmark of $722,400, down 5.4% year over year. The City of Toronto reported a benchmark of $839,600, up 1.01% year over year. Prices in the city are being held up by higher condo prices, and dragged lower by falling detached prices. Despite the positive number, it’s currently lower than CPI’s 2%. So real (inflation adjusted) gains are looking negative so far.

Greater Toronto Benchmark Price

The price of a “typical” composite home across Greater Toronto.

Source: TREB. Better Dwelling.

The price growth taper shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering the massive gains last year. TREB reported year over year gains of 28.46% last May, so a few negative years to balance the market is realistic. The 1.01% rise is actually pretty high, considering the balance needed.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Median Sale Prices Are Down Over 4%

Growing mistrust of the benchmarks “qualitative” measures has people looking for the median sale prices, which are negative. TREB reported a median sale price of $675,000, a decline of 4.9% year over year. The City of Toronto had a median sale price of $669,300, a 0.8% decline year over year. Median sale prices are commonly used around the world, but aren’t adjusted for the space. Generally speaking, this number isn’t useful for determining how much you’ll pay. It’s only useful when combined with other market indicators for broad market direction.

Greater Toronto Average Sale Prices Decline Over 6%

The average sale prices of all homes fell, but less so that the month before. TREB reported an average sale price of $805,320 in May, a 6.6% decline year over year. This is higher than the 12.37% seen the month before, but it is light years away from last year’s 14.9% gain. Not unlike median prices, average sale prices aren’t great for figuring out how much you’ll pay. They’re a better indication of dollar volume, upgrade flow, and who’s buying.

Greater Toronto Home Sales Fall Over 22%

Sales continued to slip for a second year in a row, but dropping by  more this time around. TREB reported 7,834 sales in May 2018, a 22.2% decline year over year. The City of Toronto booked 3,092 of those sales, a decline of 21.24% year over year. The decline across TREB follows a 20% decline last year as well.

New Listings Are Down Over 26%, But Inventory Is Up Over 13%

The number of new listings declined across Greater Toronto, both across TREB and in the city. TREB reported 19,022 new listings in May 2018, a 26.37% decline year over year. The City of Toronto represented 6,306 of those listings, a 25.38% decline year over year. While that sounds like inventory is down, historic gaming of new listings has made this a pretty much useless indicator now.

The number of active listings, which are homes available for sale at month end, didn’t see that huge decline. TREB reported 20,919 active listings in May, a 13.21% decline compare to the same month last year. The City of Toronto represented 5,797 of those active listings, a decline of 0.54% year-over-year. The city is doing better the burbs with inventory, but its less than a point lower than last year. Last year around this time, TREB saw active listings leap higher.

Greater Toronto Active Listings

Declining sales are leaving more inventory to build, especially in the suburbs. The seasonal month over month climb may sound encouraging, but at this point it’s a routine seasonal movement. Greater Toronto prices are so far charting a reaction rally, which is when prices retrace the movement at a lower level.
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