Mid-September Sales Plunge to Buyers’ Market, But Up from Last Year [REPORT]

Is the typically busy back-to-school market upon us? Not quite – the first two weeks of September are proving to be slower than this time last month, though sales and market conditions are looking up from the same time period in 2017.

However, while buyers may be taking their time, sellers have entered the September market in full force, with a flood of new listings across every home type. That’s pushed the market into an easy buyer-friendly environment, from the relatively balanced market in August. However, there’s less coming to market than in 2017, with buying and selling conditions roughly the same year over year. Whether a home is in buyers’, sellers’, or balanced territory is determined by the market’s sales-to-new-listings ratio. This is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings within a specific timeframe: a ratio between 40 – 60 per cent is considered balanced, with above and below that threshold as sellers’ and buyers’ markets, respectively.

Check out how home sales and listings for the first two weeks of September stack up to the same time period last year in both the City of Toronto and total region tracked by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

September Mid-Month Home Sales

toronto-home-sales-sep-2018-mtd-zoocasa

Condos

416: There have been 8 per cent fewer sales of Toronto condos, with 376 units changing hands thus far in September than in August, though activity is 7 per cent brisker than last year, when only 350 homes sold. A solid uptick in condo inventory (30 per cent more listings hit the market this month), softened the sales-to-new-listings ratio to 30 per cent – while that marks a retreat back to buyers’ conditions from August’s balanced market, it’s slightly tighter than the 27 per cent recorded last year.

TREB: It’s a similar story across the TREB region as a whole, where 554 sales marked a 10-per-cent decline from August, but an 8-per-cent uptick from 2017. New listings, however, are up 16 per cent month over month at 1,802, though -4 per cent than what was offered last year. That’s led to a slight ratio tightening to 31 per cent from 27 per cent last year, but indicates a fall from nearly balanced conditions in August to a buyers’ market.

Townhouses

416: Only 40 units sold within the first two weeks of the month, a 22-per-cent decrease from the 51 that sold in August, and -25 per cent year over year. A 40-per-cent increase in new listings (206 units, vs. 147 in August), combined with solder sales has pushed the ratio to just 19 per cent, 10 per cent softer than last year, and a considerable plunge from the 35 per cent noted in August.

TREB: Sales are flat month over month, with just a single additional unit sold than in August, at a total of 165. Listings are up 33 per cent from August, with 555 posted for sale; however, that’s 4 per cent fewer than last year. While that’s helped tighten market conditions slightly to 30 per cent, townhouses are entering a buyers’ market, rather than the balanced environment that pervaded much of August.

Detached

416: A total of 189 homes have sold thus far this month, down 11 per cent from August, but also an 11-per-cent improvement from 2017. However, house sellers are clearly coming out of the woodwork, with an 81-per-cent increase in new inventory monthly over month (though just 1 per cent up from last year). That’s put significant downward pressure on buying conditions from August, with a ratio of just 18 per cent. That’s a big drop from the 34 per cent recorded in August, but flat from the 17 per cent noted last year.

TREB: With 854 homes sold, activity is down 13 per cent this month, though up 1 per cent year over year. Listings, however, surged by 47 per cent to 4,288 homes listed for sale. While 4 per cent lower than during the same time period in 2017, conditions remain firmly in buyers’ territory with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 20 per cent, down from 34 per cent in August, though up slightly from 18 per cent in 2017.

Semi-Detached

416: Semi-detached houses for sale are the only home type to see a month-over-month increase, with 75 sold so far this month, up 34 per cent from August, and up 9 per cent from 2017. However, this has been effectively offset by a significant increase in new listings, which rose 63 per cent month over month. It should be noted, though, that new inventory remains 23 per cent below 2017 numbers. The ratio for semi-Ds is now 33 per cent, down from a balanced 41 per cent in August, though stronger than the 24 per cent recorded last September.

TREB: The month-over-month sales uptick for semi-detached homes is reflected throughout the TREB region, with 163 sold – a 25-per-cent increase from August, and up 5 per cent from 2017. New listings increased 28 per cent from August but remain 14 per cent below last year’s levels. That’s led to buying conditions remaining relatively the same from last month at 32 per cent, though slightly tighter than the 26 per cent indicated during the same two weeks in 2017.

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa. A born-and-bred Torontonian and quintessential millennial, she has over a decade of experience covering real estate, lifestyle and personal finance topics. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods. Find her on Twitter at @pjeg14.