By all accounts, 2019 was a rebound year for the Greater Toronto Area real estate market. A total of 87,825 homes traded hands over the course of the year, a 12.6% annual uptick that effectively pulled the market out of the 10-year low it experienced in 2018. Stronger sales in the region were due to a number of factors including borrower acclimatization to the federal mortgage stress test, low mortgage rates, high investor interest, as well as a steady flow of immigration to the GTA.
Coupled with a decline in MLS listings, that effectively put the boil under price growth in 2019 – home prices rose an average of 4% across the GTA year over year to $819,319, requiring buyers to come up with $32,079 more than they needed to the year prior. Sold home prices in Toronto rose 5.6% to an average of $883,520 over the course of the year.
Median Home Price Gains Rival That of Incomes Across GTA
However, home price jumps were even more significant across median home prices – the mid-point of the market most likely to impact middle-income buyers; prices rose 6% in the GTA to $710,000, a difference of $40,000. To put that into perspective, that would most impact buyers looking to purchase a condo unit within the city of Toronto, or move-up housing, such as a semi-detached house, in other GTA municipalities.
As well, a common narrative in Canada’s hottest markets is that home price growth has steadily outpaced that of local incomes. With this in mind, how do 2019’s median price gains in the GTA stack up as a percentage of after-tax household incomes? To find out, Zoocasa compiled 2019 median home prices and gains within municipalities in seven GTA regions and compared them to the after-tax incomes earned in each to see how home values have increased relative to local household earnings. Median home prices were sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board, while median after-tax household incomes were sourced from Statistics Canada.
City of Toronto Median Home Price Gains Nearly Equivalent to A Full Year of Income
The findings reveal that the City of Toronto experienced the greatest increase in median home prices throughout 2019, with gains nearly equivalent to an entire year of after-tax income; median home prices rose by 8% to $720,000 – a difference of $55,000 that accounts for nearly 94% of the median Toronto household after-tax income of $58,264.
The largest increases took place in Toronto Central, where median prices rose 9% year over year to $705,800, a difference of $55,800, accounting for 96% of income. That’s followed by Toronto West, which rose 8% to $715,000, up $55,000 and accounting for 94%, while Toronto East experienced a 6% increase to $740,000, up $45,000 and accounting for 77% of income.
Simcoe, York Region See Smallest Median Home Price Gains
On the other end of the scale were some of the GTA’s northern-most markets, with Simcoe County and York Region home to municipalities with the smallest price increases, accounting for the least proportion of local incomes.
Simcoe County as a whole experienced the smallest median home price increase of all GTA regions, with the median home price hitting $588,250 in 2019 – up just 2%, and clocking in at an increase of $13,250. That accounts for 20% of the local median after-tax household income of $67,022. The predominantly rural Simcoe township of Adjala-Tosorontio saw the largest decline in home prices across the GTA, down -10% to $630,000 – a difference of $69,000, and accounting for -81% of local incomes. The rest of Simcoe county municipalities experienced price increases between 2 – 5%, accounting for 14 – 39% of local incomes.
York Region as a whole also experienced a 2% growth in median home prices, to $850,150, a difference of $20,150 that accounts for 24% of local incomes. Its municipality of King saw the second-largest decrease in median prices in the GTA, falling -2% to $1,270,000. That’s a difference of -$20,000, and accounting for -20% of local incomes. The remainder of York region saw year-over-year prices changes between 2 – 5%, accounting for 22 – 54% of local incomes.
Peel Region overall experienced the second-highest year-over-year median price increase, up 6% to $700,000 – a difference of $40,000, accounting for 53% of local incomes. Individual municipalities saw price growth between 4 – 7%, accounting for 31 – 64% of incomes.
Orangeville saw median home prices rise 5% to $551,500, a difference of $26,500, accounting for 36% of median incomes. Likewise, in Halton region, home prices rose 4% to $770,000, a difference of $32,500 – accounting for 37% of incomes, with individual municipalities increasing 4 – 7%, accounting for 34 – 53% of incomes.
Finally, Durham region saw the second-lowest appreciation, with median home prices up 4% to $580,000, a difference of $20,000, accounting for 26% of median incomes. In its municipalities, growth ranged between 0 – 8%, accounting for 2 – 65% of local incomes.
Check out the infographic below to see how median home prices have changed across the GTA in 2019, and how they stack up as a percentage of local median incomes:
Median home prices for 2019 and 2018 were sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board. The dollar median home price change is calculated as the difference between 2019 and 2018 home price.
Median after-tax household incomes were sourced from Statistics Canada.
The home price change as a % of after-tax household income is calculated as the median home price change divided by the median after-tax household income.
Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings on zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app.
For more information about this report or to set up a media interview, please contact [email protected]