It was another hot month for GTA real estate in October, with more records broken. However, the numbers show that not all areas of the market were so strong, with certain segments generating much greater demand than others.
According to a report released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) yesterday, the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area rose to $968,318 – setting a new record for the average price for the third month in a row.
New records for average price were also set in the City of Toronto and Durham Region. Toronto saw the average home price rise 10.9% year-over-year to $1,025,925, while Durham increased 20.7% to $740,436. Peel Region ($904,963; up 18.4% year-over year) and Halton Region ($1,087,859; up 19.8%) also came close to setting new records, recording their third and second highest averages respectively.
The GTA also saw record numbers for sales activity in October. The 10,563 homes sold during the month marked a 25.1% increase compared to October 2019 and was the most sales ever recorded in the month of October. Those sales numbers were mainly driven by areas outside of the City of Toronto. While Toronto saw sales rise 6.6% year-over-year to 3,514, Halton Region rose 48.9% (1,117 sales), Durham Region rose 42.3% (1,377 sales), York Region rose 36.2% (1,919 sales), and Peel Region rose 30.1% (2,198 sales).
A similarly interesting picture appears in the reported numbers for new listings last month. Overall, the Greater Toronto Area saw 17,802 new listings – a 36.4% increase compared to a year ago and the highest number of new listings ever recorded in October. 7,823 of those new listings were in Toronto, marking a 57.1% increase year-over-year and accounting for much of the GTA’s rise.
There were also notable jumps in Peel Region (40.7% to 3.375 new listings), and both Halton and York Regions (27.6% and 27.7 increases). Interestingly, Durham Region, which saw a big increase in sales, only registered a 1.2% increase in new listings – showing demand far outstripping supply in that region.
Active listings (the number of listings available at the end of the month) presented a different picture in the TREB report. There were 17,313 across the GTA, which is roughly in line with the 10-year average for the month of October (17,180). The different areas had wildly different changes in the number of active listings, though, with some recording big increases while others observed decreases. Toronto’s active listings were up 73.2% year-over-year to 8,623 – the most active listings in the city since May 2013 and the third highest total ever since TRREB began recording city statistics in his current format in July 2011. Meanwhile, Halton Region saw active listings decrease 23.2% year-over-year and Durham Region saw a massive drop of 49.8%, dramatically reducing supply.
The increased demand and reduced supply in suburban areas adds weight to a recent narrative suggesting that buyers are looking to move away from Toronto to focus on bigger low-rise properties elsewhere. This theory is backed up by the statistics for the type of homes being sold.
Detached home sales grew at a faster rate than condo apartments (45.6% year-over-year increase vs 3.1%). At the same time, condo apartments took up a smaller share of sales (21.4%) than the 10-year average for that category of home (25.8%), while detached homes continued to take up a higher share of sales than usual (49.8% in October vs. a 10-year average of 46.7%). While these changes might seem small, they are notable in both their actual values and their effect on average prices.
TRREB president Lisa Patel spoke about the report and looked at the changing demands of the market: “Competition between buyers of single-family homes, and particularly detached houses, remained strong last month and continued to support double-digit annual rates of price growth in many GTA neighborhoods. In contrast, condo buyers have benefitted from much more choice compared to last year.”
A final and not insignificant point from the TRREB report is that homes were selling faster last month. The average number of days a listing spent on the market was 17 and the average number of days a property was on the market was 24. This represents a much shorter days-on-market period than a year earlier, when the numbers for listings and properties were 23 days and 33 days respectively.