November 1, 2019 – Sales activity in October improved by nearly 10 per cent compared to last year, driven mostly by improvements for apartment and attached product.
New listings also eased, which helped reduce inventory levels and the oversupply in the market. Despite the move to more balanced conditions, the market remains oversupplied and prices continue to remain below last year’s levels.
“Employment has shifted in the city, with job growth occurring in our non-traditional sectors and often at a different pay scale. This is consistent with the shift to more affordable housing product,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“However, at the higher end of the market the amount of oversupply is rising, as supply cannot shift enough to compensate for the reductions in demand. This is likely causing divergent trends in pricing and preventing prices from stabilizing across the city.”
This is a market where signs of improvement are not consistent across all product types and price ranges. Improvements in sales are occurring in the lower price ranges across all product types. This is not yet translating into price shifts, as persistently elevated supply levels continue to place downward pressure on prices.
As of October, citywide unadjusted benchmark prices were $422,900, just below last month’s levels and two per cent lower than last year’s levels.
HOUSING MARKET FACTS
- Sales activity this month came in just above last year’s levels, thanks to growth in all districts except the North East and North. However, year-to-date citywide levels remain comparable to last year’s levels and over 19 per cent lower than longer-term trends.
- New listings continued to ease this month, but at a slower pace than levels recorded over the past eight months.
- Improvements in sales and easing new listings brought down inventory levels by 15 per cent. With 3,391 units in inventory, the months of supply is just under four months. This is a decline compared to last year, but it is still high based on longer-term trends. Months of supply eased across all districts except the North, likely due to the increased pressure coming from the new-home sector.
- Unadjusted benchmark prices eased over the previous month due to declines in all districts except the South East and East. Overall, prices in October remained nearly two per cent lower than last year’s levels and nearly eight per cent lower than previous highs.
- Apartment sales continued to improve this month and new listings eased. This helped reduce inventory levels and brought the months of supply down just under 6 months. Despite improvements, the market remained firmly in buyers’ territory.
- Year-to-date improvements in sales were driven by gains in the North, West and South East sectors.
Inventory declines have occurred in all districts except the South East.
- Overall, year-to-date prices remained over two per cent lower than last year’s levels and nearly 17 per cent lower than peak pricing. However, there are some signs of stabilization in prices this year, with prices in the North East, South East and East remaining comparable to last year.
- The attached market continues to show the largest increase in sales, with year-to-date growth of nearly seven per cent. Improvements occurred across all districts except for the North West and North East.
- New listings have eased by eight per cent so far this year, causing inventory declines and reductions in the amount of oversupply.
- Like most sectors, this segment remains oversupplied, which is causing price adjustments. As of October, semi-detached and row prices remained two and four per cent lower than last year’s levels, respectively. Prices continue to ease across nearly all districts and remain well below previous highs.