November is typically a slower month for real estate sales, as the back-to-school buying boom subsides and the pending holiday season prompts buyers to put their home searches on hold.
This is reflected in new mid-month Greater Toronto Area housing market data, which reveal sales are indeed down across all home types compared to the same period last year – but less expected has been a flood of new home listings, which have effectively tipped several home type segments from balanced conditions into buyer’s territory.
According to Zoocasa’s mid-month November report, which is compiled using sales data collected by the Toronto Real Estate Board between the first and 15th day of the month, sales-to-new-listings ratios fell across all home types in the GTA and City of Toronto, with the exception of the condo market.
The sales-to-new-listings ratio is a metric used to determine how competitive a market is by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings. It can be used to determine how hot a market is regardless of its size, whether on a national scale, all the way down to local neighbourhoods. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, a ratio between 40 – 60 per cent is considered balanced territory, while below and above that range are considered buyer’s and seller’s markets, respectively.
Check out the difference in sales-to-new-listings ratios by home type, along with sales and new listings to market, compared to mid-month November 2016 in the infographic below:
Condos: Tighter buying conditions
Multi-family housing was the only segment to become more competitive in the first two weeks of November, compared to early October’s activity. The sales-to-new-listings ratio stayed relatively flat in the GTA at 45 per cent from 44, and up considerably in the 416 region from 38 to 46 per cent, retreating from buyer’s conditions to more balanced territory.
And, while the number of sales fell, as is seasonal between October to November, the pace of the decline has slowed, from -31 per cent in the GTA and -33 per cent (compared to 2016) in the city proper compared to -44 per cent and -42 per cent last mid-month, respectively. A number of recent reports from local GTA real estate boards indicate that while the market in general has slowed from extremely hot 2016 activity, condos are seeing the greatest demand and price growth, as the most buyer competition is present in the most affordable end of the market.
Detached Homes: Now a buyer’s market in Toronto
While last month’s mid-month report revealed a tepid recovery in the detached market, which has seen the greatest decline since the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan in April, that hasn’t been the case thus far in November, with sales falling 33 per cent in the GTA and 36 per cent in the 416 year over year.
A rush of new inventory also came to market, with levels rising 47 and 26 per cent, respectively.This slower activity and more buyer choice has cooled competition for detached houses; the sales-to-new-listings ratio fell slightly from 37 to 34 per cent in the GTA month over month, and dipped considerably from 45 to 35 per cent in the 416 – a newly minted buyer’s market. This also indicates conditions are roughly half as tight as they were this time last year, when the ratio sat at 77 and 72 per cent in the GTA and 416.
Townhomes: Another surge of listings
Last month, we reported that GTA and Toronto townhome sales had fallen sharply, down 48 per cent annually in both the 416 and GTA, and a whopping 61 per cent in the GTA from the previous mid-month. While sales are still underperforming compared to last year, they’re doing so at a less dramatic pace in the GTA, at -28 per cent. However, townhouses sales are still on a run in the City of Toronto, down 46 per cent year over year.
This has led to slightly more competitive conditions in the GTA with a ratio of 46 per cent from 42 last month, but has shoved townhouses into the buyer’s realm in Toronto, at 36 per cent compared to last month’s 47.
Semi-detached homes: Still a balanced market
Sales of semi-detached homes remain 24 and 22 per cent lower than last year in the GTA and 416, though that’s an improvement from last mid-month’s year-over-year decline of 36 and 35 per cent. While there was a considerable boost in new listings throughout the GTA month over month (up 28 per cent compared to just 7 per cent in October), new inventory fell slightly in Toronto, up only 12 per cent compared to 15 per cent last month. While still balanced, the November sales-to-new-listings ratios reveal slightly more favourable buyer conditions, at 42 and 47 per cent, respectively.