The Greater Toronto Area housing market bounced back from its summer slump in September; however a severe lack of supply continues to firmly constrain sales below last year’s levels, while pushing prices to new highs.
The latest numbers from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board reveal that buyers returned to market with renewed fall vigour, marking the third-hottest September on record with 9,046 transactions, though that remains -18% under the 2020 benchmark. The average home price has officially breached the $1.1-million mark at $1,136,280, an increase of 18.3% year over year, and 6.1% from August.
Sellers Continue to Have the Upper Hand in Today’s Market
As has been the trend over the last six months, the region remains ensnared in a tight sellers’ market with the number of sales accounting for 67% of all new listings, the sharp lack of which is being keenly felt by prospective buyers. A total of 13,483 homes were brought to market in September, down -34% from the same time frame in 2020, though marking a small improvement from August by 2,874.
According to TRREB President Kevin Crigger, the lack of housing supply in the GTA has become a chronic issue that now requires a united approach beyond measures to decrease buyer demand, such as the stress test increase introduced in June.
“Demand has remained incredibly robust throughout September with many qualified buyers who would buy a home tomorrow provided they could find a suitable property. With new listings in September down by one third compared to last year, purchasing a home for many is easier said than done,” he stated in the board’s release. “The lack of housing supply and choice has reached a critical juncture. Bandaid policies to artificially suppress demand have not been effective. This is not an issue that can be solved by one level of government alone. There needs to be collaboration federally, provincially, and locally on a solution.”
Home Prices Up by Double Digits Across TRREB Region
While demand for condos has been roaring back over the past few months – it was the only home type to see a year-over-year increase in sales – the bulk of price growth continues to be in the single-family home segments. Check out how prices have performed for detached and semi-detached houses, townhouses, and condos in the City of Toronto and the GTA below:
Price Growth is Hottest Outside City of Toronto
As we’ve seen over the course of the pandemic, the steepest price growth hasn’t been happening in downtown Toronto, but in the various counties and municipalities that make up the remainder of the GTA.
Average home prices rose at the greatest pace in Simcoe County and Durham Region, up 32% year over year to $977,643 and $968,136, respectively. To put that in perspective, that’s just shy of the growth experienced by the GTA in the spring of 2017, which sounded the provincial alarm, and the rollout of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan.
Meanwhile, home sales fell -39% in Simcoe County with 237 transactions, while 360 homes were listed, a decline of -26%, leading to an SNLR (Sales-to-New-Listings Ratio) of 66%. This ratio measures the level of competition in the market; a range between 40 – 60% indicates a balanced market, with below and above that threshold indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets, respectively.
Durham Region saw sales fall -33% with 1,006 transactions, new listings decline by -30%, and a steep SNLR of 77%.
Peel Region is experiencing the hottest sellers’[ market in the region with an SNLR of 80%, fueled by a -40%-year-over-year plunge in new listings. Sales fell -23% with 1,829 transactions, while prices rose 20% to $1,087,321.
Similarly, Halton Region’s SNLR sits at 77%, following a -34% drop in new listings, and a -28% decline in sales, with 835 transactions. Prices in the area rose 15% to an average of $1,247,856.
York Region continues to the be priciest in all of the GTA, with homes selling for an average of $1,359,010 (+27%). Sales and new listings fell -17% and 37% year over year respectively, as 1,695 homes changed hands, leading to an SNLR of 70%.
Meanwhile, sizzling sellers’ conditions extend all the way to Dufferin County, with an SNLR of 76%. That’s due to a drop in new listings of -37%, constraining sales to just 47 transactions (-42%), while the average home price rose 15% to $756,479.