Unless you are buying with ALL cash, Toronto and Durham Region real estate is not becoming more affordable. In the Pickering portion of the market update I’ll show just how much of that price decline is attributed to the increased cost of borrowing.
Don't Feel Like Reading?
That's Okay, I made this post into a video.
City Of Toronto
The market in Toronto is very hard to analyze on a whole, because there are so many different neighbourhoods, price points and property types. But who cares? I'm going to do it anyways and see if we can draw some meaningful conclusions.
Compared to October 2021, total sales are down 50%, and average price is down only 3% to $1,093,097. Average time to sell your home in October was 37 days and the months of inventory was 1.7 months. Keep in mind that Toronto has a boatload of condos which this skews the data considerably.
In the low-rise segment, instead of 37 days you can expect it to take around 3 weeks to sell your home with just over a month of inventory instead of the 1.7 months for all property types combined. The low-rise numbers indicate a market where a properly priced home will sell in a reasonable time.
Condos are a different story. I mean, the prices remain strong for the units that actually sell; but a lot of units went unsold in October and we are starting to see units begin to pile up; especially in the downtown core.
The next few months will be pivotal in terms of where prices go from here. I suspect a lot of the unsold units will end up becoming much-needed rental units or AirBnb rentals. We shall see though.
Much like Toronto, Pickering has seen a levelling of prices and sales over the last 3 months. Since the sharp declines in prices bottomed out in July, prices in Pickering have remained quite stable since then, hovering right around the $980-990K range. The average days on market for all Pickering home types is 25 days.
Compared to this time last year, sales are down 50% and average price is down by almost 9%.
That being said, move-in ready homes that are priced properly and marketed well are selling in a couple weeks or so which, TO ME, is how Real Estate should be. Not this 10 offers, $200K over-asking nonsense we’ve had for the last few years.
Condo prices in Pickering were higher than at any point in 2021. This seems odd considering the supply of condos is substantially outpacing the demand. This month there were only 5 condos sold in Pickering while there were 23 active listings. So, 18 of the 23 people trying to sell their condo were unsuccessful. This is something to keep an eye on as we approach the end of the year.
The Pickering market has been in a sharp decline since the peak in February, with average prices down by $301K over that span. Now, you might ask:
HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED AFFORDABILITY??
The truth is that despite prices coming down by more than $300K, affordability for Toronto and Durham region real estate hasn’t improved much, IF AT ALL.
For instance, if you bought an average Pickering home in February at $1.275 million, the monthly payment on a fixed-rate mortgage (assuming 80% loan-to-value 2.34% with 25 year amortization) would be $4,490 per month.
That same mortgage today at 5% is $4,585 per month which is only $95 difference per month. So even though houses cost $300K less, the effect on your monthly bank statements are roughly the same.
People haven’t suddenly lost their appetite for housing. What many people HAVE lost is their ability to AFFORD housing and the fact that home owners can no longer economically use the EQUITY in their home’s to purchase additional properties has reduced demand substantially.
To me, most of the price correction is due to the increased borrowing costs associated with home ownership. As well, things like eroding buyer confidence, and the threat of a recession contributing also play a part.
Like everywhere else in Canada, Ajax is seeing a large dip compared to last year. The average price for Oct. 2022 was $968767, down 8% from the same month last year.
However, there are signs that the market may be stabilizing. The last three months have seen prices stabilize and inventory levels are where in line with what we would see in a seller's market. Now buyer’s confidence is nowhere near what is needed for a seller’s market but we’re a lot closer than anyone wants to let on. Since the peak of the market in February, Ajax average prices are down by $304,000!
All in all, we are starting to see a leveling off of prices after months of uncertainty. That is not to say that more uncertainty isn’t around the corner, but it seems the market has responded appropriately to increased borrowing costs.
Home sales have been impacted by both the affordability challenge presented by mortgage rate hikes and the trend where qualified home buyers who can afford higher borrowing costs have put their decision on hold to see where home prices end up. Once home prices stabilize, some buyers will re-enter the market despite higher borrowing costs.
New listings will be an important indicator to watch over the next few months. With the unemployment rates low, the majority of households AREN’T in a position where they NEED to sell their home. If would-be sellers decide to take a wait-and-see approach over the next few months, it’s possible that active listings could trend lower as well.