The Toronto residential resale market continues to strengthen as we move into the spring buying and selling season. Month after month the greater Toronto market reaches new milestones. All home types, including condominium apartments, saw both price growth and growth in the volume of properties sold.
In April 11,303 properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area. This compares to only 9,660 sales in 2014, an increase of 17 percent. The increase of 17 percent is the highest year-over-year increase in sales on a monthly basis since before the 2008 recession. Although an increase of 17 percent pales in comparison to some of the recent increases experienced by the Vancouver market, by historical comparison a 17 percent increase is dramatic and unprecedented. For example, last month saw an increase of 10 percent compared to March 2014. That was the first double digit increase in years.
Not only did we see unprecedented sales volume, but all properties sold in record breaking time. All 11,303 properties reported sold (on average) sold in just 18 days. Last April, which was also a very fast sales month, all properties sold in 20 days. Certain housing types in various Toronto trading areas sold even faster. All detached properties in Toronto’s central core sold in just 15 days. They sold for 103 percent of their asking price. The average sale price for these properties? A record $1,591,721. Although prices were dramatically lower in the eastern trading areas, all detached homes in these districts sold in just 11 days at 105 percent of their asking price. The average sale price of these eastern district homes was $746,110, a record price, almost 16 percent more than what detached homes in the eastern districts sold for last year.
Given the high volume of sales and the speed with which they took place it is not surprising to see that the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area also set a new monthly record. The average sale price for all properties sold came in at $635,932, a 10 percent increase compared to April 2014’s average sale price of $578,354. April marks the third consecutive month establishing a new record high for average sale prices in the greater Toronto area. In the city of Toronto the average sale price was even higher. It came in at $690,261. This is a remarkable number when one considers that it includes the 1,706 condominium apartments that were reported sold. If condominium apartment sales are removed, the combined average sale price for detached and semi-detached homes in Toronto would be about $900,000, and dramatically more in some of the more sought-after neighborhoods.
The continually rising average sale price for Toronto properties is redefining the meaning of “luxury”. In April 1275 properties having a sale price that exceeded $1 Million were sold, another record. That represents a 54 percent increase compared to the 828 that sold in the same category last year. There were 195 properties sold that had an average sale price of more than $2 Million. Last year only 135 sold in this category. The “high end” of the market continues to grow every month. In April the 1275 reported sales over $1 Million represent more than 11 percent of the overall market. It is humourous to note that in the midst of these high end sales there were 6 properties that sold having a sale price less than $100,000.
Inventory levels continue to be a problem, contributing to rising prices and the pace of sales. In April 17,248 new properties came to market. Unfortunately this was 5 percent less than the 18,177 that became available to buyers in 2014. The cumulative effect of the monthly shortages is that the Toronto market enters May with only 17,182 properties available for sale, more than 10 percent fewer than the 19,118 that were available to buyers last year. These inventory shortages account for the growing phenomenon of multiple buyers bidding for the same property. This auction-like environment also contributes to the rapidly rising average sale price for properties in Toronto.
For first-time buyers condominium apartments are their only housing refuge, and the numbers indicated that that’s were first time buyers are flocking. In April 1,706 condominium apartments were reported sold, an increase of almost 14 percent compared to last year. These sales represented more than 22 percent of all reported sales. In the city of Toronto condominium apartment sales represented 42 percent of all reported sales. Prices of condominium apartments are beginning to creep up. For the first time, the average sale price for condominium apartment sales in the city of Toronto exceeded $400,000 ($407,612). In central Toronto, where most apartment sales take place, the average sale price came in at $465,143, another record. Without the financial help of parents, even condominium apartments would be beyond the reach of many first-time buyers.
As we move into May we are firmly on pace to break the 2007 record of 93,193 sales for the entire year. With 30,854 sales already reported in the first four months of 2015, we can anticipate yearend sales exceeding 100,000 properties.