Once upon a time there was an air of predictability in the real estate spring market. But, some interesting things have happened lately. The month of April saw the highest sales activity on record for that month, ever.
Let’s delve a little deeper. The first two weeks began slowly but picked up aggressively over the second half of the month. The result was a stunning 17% increase in sales compared to the same period last year. April was essentially behaving very un-April-like.
Even more surprising was the increase appeared consistent across all areas and property types throughout Toronto & the GTA. We saw newly-listed properties inch up by 5% while active-listings declined by 10% compared to the previous year.
At today’s sales levels, we are sitting on approximately 1.5 months of inventory. The established norm for most markets this time of year is around 3-6 months supply, a clear indicator that on the whole, the properties are selling at an increasingly faster clip.
For condominium watchers, April produced a dramatic 28% climb in sales for the downtown market. We saw a 4% increase in newly listed units while active listings remained unchanged from 1 year ago.
This translates into a mere 3-month supply of inventory, dismissing any fears about an oversupply in the downtown market.
How strong is the downtown Toronto condo market?
Ask any active real estate broker working with buyers hoping to land a suitable home (semi-detached, town-home or detached) anywhere in the city’s core.
The theme is consistent: Prices have inched up more than 10% compared to last year; Multiple offers have become the norm, and the continually declining inventory for houses shows no signs of reversing.
These combined factors have worked to strengthen the Toronto condo market, making it the de-facto, go-to-housing source for both first time buyers & seasoned purchasers.
The momentum continued as the first two weeks of May saw a 9.6% jump in sales compared to last year. A vivid picture is emerging here folks, sales activity will likely reach an all time high come year end.
To date, the highest sales year on record was 2007. We are likely to see this eclipsed as more than one million people have chosen to call Toronto & the GTA home since that peak year.
Thus far, sales for the month have been higher in every category except for detached homes in the 416 areas which declined by 1.9%. Perhaps this is an early sign that prices will soon be out of reach for most people.
In closing, it’s worth noting that among the world’s major cities, only Toronto has a significant stock of detached housing situated in its downtown core. As our city grows, it seems like this stock might also be heading into the once upon a time territory as condos become the next best option.