Price of homes shows no signs of slowing, with the average selling price hitting $546,303 in August, up 8.9 per cent from last year.
The average sale price of detached homes in the sought-after 416 region crept back up to an average transaction price in August of $902,428.
Toronto realtor John Pasalis spent the day after Labour Day in the full throes of what’s already looking to be a busy fall market.
He was juggling two clients keen to get into the Toronto market before they were priced out for good. One, a couple, lost out on a small semi in the St. Clair and Birchmount Aves. area that went for $73,000 over the $379,900 asking price in an 14-person bidding frenzy where buyers and their agents’ cars lined the street.
The second buyer emerged victorious, but at a price: He paid well over the $699,000 asking price for a gracious detached home in the Coxwell Ave. and Mortimer Ave. area. That far more subdued, eight-person bidding war played out at the listing agent’s east-end office.
“We were swamped all summer with new buyers jumping into the market, looking early in preparation for the fall market,” says Pasalis. “I think it’s going to be busy.
“There’s just way more people looking than there are houses available.”
While Toronto’s housing market went into full summer slowdown in August after an unusually hot July for sales, prices continued their skyward climb, fuelled in large part by a lack of enough properties for sale to meet demand.
“Inventory has definitely picked up, even through the first week of the fall market,” says Toronto realtor David Fleming, “but it’s not the (level of) increase we had been expecting.
“We’re all looking for reasons why.”
Transactions were up just 2.8 per cent in August over a year earlier with 7,391 sales of homes and condos across the GTA, according to figures released Thursday by the Toronto Real Estate Board.
Prices, however, showed no signs of slowing. The average selling price, which includes condos and all house types, was $546,303 in August, up 8.9 per cent from August of 2013.
Even the average sale price of detached homes in the sought-after 416 region, which had been slipping since hitting a high of virtually $1 million in spring, crept back up to an average transaction price in August of $902,428.
Condo sales were up 6.5 per cent in August, year over year, outpacing sales growth of all other housing types — from detached to semis and townhomes — as buyers looked for alternatives to houses for fear of being priced out of the market for good.
Demand is now so strong, especially for unique condos in prime buildings, that Fleming fears this fall, buyers could see the same price drivers that have become commonplace in the hot house market: Realtors holding back accepting offers for a week to create a frenzy of competition that drives bidding wars and prices skyward.
“The demand out there is rampant. I’ve got 24 active buyers right now,” says Fleming. “Right across the board, there is no one person I’m emailing with an incredible number of listings.”
Condo sales were up 6.3 per cent in the City of Toronto and 6.9 per cent in the 905 regions in August, according to the TREB figures.
The average transaction price for condos hit $370,899 in Toronto, up 4.1 per cent year-over-year, while it was up 5.4 per cent in the 905 regions to an average price of $307,148.
Detached home sales were up just 0.7 per cent across the GTA, 1.7 per cent in the City of Toronto and 0.4 per cent in the 905 regions, likely due to the lack of supply as homeowners simply opt to stay put out of fear of the stress, costs and difficulty of finding another home.
The average sales price in the 905 regions was $644,120 for a detached home, up 9.3 per cent, compared to the average sales price of $902,428 in the 416 region, up 14.7 per cent.
Semi-detached home sales climbed 7.4 per cent in the 416 region and 2.5 per cent in the 905. That brought the average sales price to $627,725 in the 416 region, up 8.8 per cent, and to $445,577 in the 905 regions, up 8.9 per cent.
Townhome sales climbed 11.8 per cent in the 416 and 1.3 per cent in the 905. Prices hit an average of $463,798 in the 416 and $406,748 in the 905, up from last August by 11.7 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively.