Although the year got off to a slow start, Toronto’s real estate market has been gradually building momentum, resulting in a record-breaking number of transactions for the month of June at an average selling price that was 2% higher than June 2008.
While central-east Toronto neighbourhoods such as Riverdale and Leslieville have been hopping with multiple offers, the average selling price of the top-ranked The Beach neighbourhood is up less than 4% versus a year earlier. In the following report from RE/MAX, only 20% of GTA neighbourhoods are identified as having a higher average house selling prices compared to last year. So while the GTA real estate market is awash with activity, prices have not gained excessively, and there is still good value to be found throughout all Toronto neighbourhoods.
Check out the full report below for more detailed analysis.
GTA real estate proves resilient during first six months of 2009, says RE/MAX
One in five neightbourhoods have surpassed pre-recession average price levels
In the midst of the recession, approximately twenty per cent of single-detached homes and condominiums in Greater Toronto Area neighbourhoods managed to post an increase in average price, according to RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Return on Investment Report found that 11 (17 per cent) of the 65 Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts reported an upswing in the value of a single-detached home in the first six months of 2009, despite one of the worst first quarters on record. The Beach (E02) saw the greatest percentage increase year-over-year at 3.79 per cent, with average price rising to $715,422, up from $689,278 in June, 2008. Pickering (E13) placed second, with the average price of a single-detached home climbing 3.72 per cent to $389,536, up from $375,577 from one year earlier. Willowdale, Newtonbrook (C14) ranked third, with a single-detached home rising in value from $754,470 to $779,537 -- a 3.32 per cent increase. Rounding out the top five neighbourhoods are newcomers Downsview, Weston (W04) – where prices have climbed 2.25 per cent to $384,485 from $376,007, and Rouge, Malvern (E11) where a 1.99 per cent uptick has brought year-to-date housing values to $345,468 (from $338,738).
Purchasers clearly moved to take advantage of greater affordability in the marketplace in the first half of the year. Prices were down in virtually every neighbourhood surveyed; supply of homes listed for sale was at an all-time high; and interest rates were at historic levels. If you’re a buyer, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Given their more affordable price point, condominium properties fared slightly better than single-detached homes, with 13 (22 per cent) of 59 TREB districts posting an increase in average price. Condos in Cliffcrest, Guildwood (E08) in the city’s east end saw the greatest appreciation in value, with average price climbing 6.45 per cent to $175,855, up from $165,197 one year ago. North Toronto, Cricket Club (C04) ranked second with a 6.1 per cent increase in average price, bringing condominium values to $301,065 (up from $283,746). Downsview, Weston (W04) clinched third spot, with a 4.37 per cent increase in average price to $173,083 in June 2009, up from $165,834 one year earlier. Mississauga’s thriving Port Credit community (W12) experienced a 2.63 per cent increase in condominium values year-over-year – with average price hovering at $304,954. Bendale, Woburn, and West Hill comprise E09, where the average price of a condo appreciated 2.46 per cent over figures reported one year ago to $201,830.
But that was then and this is now. Lower inventory levels combined with increased demand -- comparable to what we’ve seen in recent months -- is expected to place renewed pressure on housing values for the remainder of the year. As a result, average prices are forecast to be at par or slightly ahead of last year’s levels by year-end in almost all neighbourhoods.
Case in point is areas like Toronto’s east end, where bidding wars are breaking out on single-detached properties daily. The average sale-to-list price ratio in E01 and E02 approaches 100 per cent. Average prices are up in four of the 18 East District neighbourhoods. Overall average price in the east is down less than one per cent to $346,597 from the January to June 2008 figure.
The areas with the highest percentage decreases in the average price of a single-detached home have also seen the greatest increases in the number of properties sold. The overall average price of a single-detached home fell by 5.17 per cent in the Central District to $884,036, down from $932,198 one year ago, while the North District dropped 4.49 per cent in value to $526,693, down from $551,452 in June 2008. Sales are up in both areas, with 2,000 homes changing hands in the central area (up 4.28 per cent over one year ago) and 4,249 properties sold in the north (up three per cent from June 2008).
Only one district reported an overall increase in the average price. Condominiums in the North District – comprised mostly of York Region – posted a 0.26 per cent increase in values – and now hover at $275,822, compared with $275,113 one year ago.
The momentum going forward is expected to be healthy – buoyed by positive economic data and a return to stability in the financial sector. There may be some bumps along the road, but all in all, the worst is over for the residential real estate in the Greater Toronto Area.
RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 17,000 sales associates situated throughout its more than 677 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 36th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 70 countries. Over 6,700 independently-owned offices engage nearly 100,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management. For more information, visit: www.remax.ca
Note: All statistics sourced from RE/MAX and TREB Net Districts that recorded less than 100 sales year-to-date were discounted to prevent the reporting of statistical anomalies.