Demand for real estate in the Greater Toronto Area showed no sign of slowing last month, with sales clocking in at the second-highest level ever for October, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. However, the number of available listings remain at record lows, fueling a long-term supply-and-demand imbalance, and sizzling price appreciation.
Those on the hunt for a new home are almost guaranteed to experience a bidding war or two on their search, as buying conditions remain fiercely competitive across the region. A total of 9,783 homes sold over the course of October – an 8.1% uptick from September, though still -6.9% below 2020’s record-breaking levels. Meanwhile, a total of 11,740 new listings were brought to market, marking a -34.1% plunge from last year, and down -12.9% from September.
Combined, that’s led to a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 83%; this ratio, which is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings introduced over the course of the month, indicates the level of competition in the market. A range between 40 – 60% indicates a balanced market, with below and above revealing buyers’ and sellers’ markets, respectively.
GTA Home Prices Up Nearly 20% From October 2020
As a result, the average home price continues to climb, increasing 19.3% from last year’s levels to $1,155,345. That’s outstripped the 10-year price growth trend, according to the forecast Zoocasa made back in August for the fall market.
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“The only sustainable way to address housing affordability in the GTA is to deal with the persistent mismatch between demand and supply. Demand isn’t going away. And that’s why all three levels of government need to focus on supply, stated TRREB President Kevin Crigger in the board’s release. “The federal government has stated that collaboration with provinces and municipalities is required. This collaboration could be spearheaded, at least in part, with housing-related incentives tied to federal infrastructure investment.”
While the bulk of price growth has been for low-rise home types – the average detached home in the GTA now fetches more than $1.5 million, with townhouses approaching the million mark – a huge surge in condo sales was the standout trend for the month. It’s apparent that demand for units has more than rebounded from their lockdown-induced slump, as buyers are again drawn to urban living, and seek the most affordable entry points into the market. Unit sales soared 28.9% from 2020, with the average price rising 13% to $703,698.
Check out these infographics to see how prices and sales performed for all home types in the GTA and City of Toronto in October:
905-Area Buyers Face the Steepest Competition
As has been the trend throughout the pandemic, buyers are facing the hottest price growth and competition in markets outside of the City of Toronto; while the 416 remains in a sellers’ market with an SNLR of 74% and a steep average home price of $1,122,463, its year-over-year growth of 9% pales in comparison to the double-digit increases experienced in a number of 905 markets, most of which boast SNLRs in the 80 – 90% range.
For example, homes for sale in Durham Region continue to be highly sought after for their comparable affordability; the region has an SNLR of 92%, driven by a -31% drop in new listings, well outpacing a -24% decrease in sales at 1,047 transactions. As a result, average prices have increased the most here out of any TRREB-area market, up 33% to $988,354.
It’s a similar story in Peel Region; an extremely tight SNLR of 92% coupled with a -38% decline in new listings has constrained sales, which came in -13% below 2020 levels with 1,920 transactions. Buyers can expect to shell out an average of $1,065,595 for a home, up 19% from October of last year.
The highest average home price in the GTA can be found in York Region, rising 24% year over year to $1,376,936. New listings are down -32% from 2020, leading to a sales drop of 4%, while the SNLR clocks in at 89%.
With an SNLR of 90%, Halton Region remains extremely competitive, further exacerbated by a -33% decrease in new listings. That’s more than outstripped a -24% drop in sales, and effectively pushing the average price up by 24% to $1,305,714.
Simcoe County remains proof positive that urban flight is here to stay; the region experienced the second-highest rate of price growth, up 31% to an average of $994,122. That’s due to a steep SNLR of 92%, reflective of a -27% drop in new listings, outpacing a -21% decline in sales.
Dufferin County-area sales experienced the steepest year-over-year drop, dipping 33% from 2020 with a mere 52 transactions. However, this year nearly matched by a -31% drop in new listings, pushing the SNLR to 102%, indicating all new available listings sold over the course of the month, and that overall inventory shrank as a result. That has fueled price gains of 29% to an average of $843,894 – the only region under $900,000.
Thinking of buying a home? Check out the Zoocasa Buyer’s Guide: