August was another record-breaking month for GTA real estate as the market continued its post-lockdown resurgence.
According to a report released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) today, the average sale price, number of sales and number of new listings all recorded huge year-over-year increases, going up 20.1%, 40.3% and 56.8% respectively.
The average price of a home in the GTA last month was $951,404 – the highest average ever recorded. It is the third month in a row that the record has been broken and is an indication of the confidence and demand in GTA real estate at the moment.
In the City of Toronto, the average price was $1,012,506 – down a fraction form the previous month but only the third time that it has been over $1m. In Halton Region, the average price hit a new record of $1,031,721; passing the $1m mark for the first time ever. In York Region, the average price was above $1m for the sixth time in seven months, reaching $1,091,433 in August. Meanwhile, Durham Region set a new average price record of $734,136 – higher than the previous records set in July 2020 and April 2017.
One of the drivers of the increase in prices was huge demand for GTA real estate. According to the TREB report, there were 10,775 home sales recorded in August – a 40.3% year-over-year increase. In fact, it was the largest number of sales ever recorded in the month of August and the first time that over 10,000 sales have been recorded in this month.
While there were large increases in sales numbers almost everywhere in the GTA, there were certain regions that saw much greater increases. Halton Region recorded the biggest change, with a 49.3% year-over-year increase in sales. York Region and Durham Regions weren’t far behind, with increases of 46.6% and 44.8% respectively.
Fortunately for any buyers of GTA real estate, supply looks like it might be starting to match demand. After several months of listings growing at a slower rate than sales, August saw new listings rise 56.8% to 18,491, outpacing the increase in sales. This increase was driven mainly by the City of Toronto, which saw new listings increase 98.3% year-over-year.
Looking more closely at the new listings in Toronto, we can see that condo apartments were responsible for many of the new listings. In August 2020, there were 4,153 new listings for condo apartments – 2,240 and 117% more than a year earlier. In contrast, detached new listings increased by 724 listings (63.6% increase). Semi-detached homes also had a large increase in percentage terms (125.7%) but that only accounted for an extra 323 new listings.
New listings also saw big rises elsewhere, although not as steep as Toronto. Halton Region (48.1%), York Region (47.7%) and Peel Region (42.0%) all recorded big changes in new listings – bringing much-needed supply to some high-demand markets.
What does all this mean? Well, one thing for certain is that GTA real estate is on fire at the moment. Part of this can be explained by pent-up demand as a result of the lockdown and part of the year-over-year increases can be explained by the fact that the spring market was delayed until summer.
However, the most notable aspect is it appears from the numbers that there has been a change in the mindset of buyers. There have been anecdotal reports of people looking to move to areas with more space and bigger homes and that is born out in the numbers. Detached homes are taking up a bigger share of sales, sales are rising faster in areas outside of Toronto, listings for smaller properties are rising at a faster rate. These are all signs of a changing mindset from real estate buyers and sellers and it will be interesting to see if this is a permanent change or just a result of the covid-19 lockdown and the impact it has had on people.