LIFE · Real Estate March 18th, 2016

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January real estate slows from December, but it’s not all bad

Sale numbers up compared to last January, despite decline in listings

While the GTA housing market saw a slight decrease in total sales in January compared to December, it’s not all bad news.

Though the decrease may sound negative, the Toronto Real Estate Board reports the number of sales is actually an eight percent increase compared to last January — this despite a six percent decrease in listings compared to the same time, which could also explain the drop in gross number of sales from December.

“Market conditions in January were tighter compared to a year earlier, with an annual increase in sales up against a decline in listings,” said TREB’s director of market analysis, Jason Mercer. “This is why growth … continued to be strong, especially for singles, semis and townhouses, where there has been a persistent lack of inventory.”

Some midtown neighbourhoods fared well with the drop in listings, while others did not.

Leaside saw its sales jump up nearly 40% compared to December while the average sale price also jumped nearly $75,000 to $672,452. While this sounds like good news for those looking to sell, the average price of a detached home in Leaside actually fell from $1.45 million in December to $1.4 million in January.

The biggest loser in terms of number of sales in midtown areas was also the biggest winner in rise in average sale price: the Rosedale and Moore Park area. While January sales were barely over half what December saw, the average sale price jumped more than $100,000 to just above $1.525 million. However, the price of detached homes took a huge hit, falling from just under $3 million to just under $2 million from December to January.

The Bridle Path, Sunnybrook and York Mills area stayed fairly steady, seeing one fewer sale and a drop from $2.69 million to $2.38 million in average sale price. There was a bigger drop in the average sale price of a detached home, however, going from $3.65 million down to $2.87 million.

Forest Hill South and Yonge-Eglinton saw a rise in sale but a drop in average sale price, while detached homes in those areas from roughly $1.9 million to $1.8 million.

North Toronto saw an ever-so-slight change, recording one fewer sale and an increase in average sale price of just $32,000. The average sale price of a detached home in the area dropped from $1.85 million to $1.7 million.

While all areas saw a drop in price of the average detached house, TREB president Mark McLean suggested it’s still good news.

“It is clear that the handoff from 2015 to 2016 was a strong one,” he said. “This is not surprising given that recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos Reid suggested 12 percent of GTA households were seriously considering the purchase of a home in 2016.

“Buying intentions are strong for this year as households continue to se home ownership as an affordable long-term investment.”