After an extreme roller coaster ride for the first 8 months of this year, Toronto area prices for freehold (non-condominium) properties seem to have stabilized. Prices shot up by more than 30% over 2016 in the spring, promptly gave back all of the increase over the summer months, and have exactly matched last year’s price levels for the past two months.
Encouragingly, freehold prices increased by about 5% over the past month, auguring a healthy autumn market and, hopefully, an end to falling prices.
The condominium market is another story altogether. September prices shot up significantly, to about 30% above last fall. Unlike house prices, condo prices simply haven’t corrected at all, and bidding wars remain rampant. This is the exact reverse of the situation very recently, when condo prices were sluggish and the freehold market was hot; at that time, most analysts were predicting that the condo market would correct. My, how things have changed.
The total number of homes sold this year remains significantly lower than last year. September sales were down about 35% from last September, and year-to-date sales are down about 19%. The inventory of homes for sale is fluctuating around 3 months’ supply, roughly triple what it was last year and indicative of a balanced market favouring neither buyers nor sellers.
Bottom line: the excesses of the past couple of years seem to have been largely squeezed out, and we can hopefully enjoy a more ‘normal’, healthy market for the first time in a long time.