2017 is long gone but anyone who has been following the real estate market knows it was quite the rollercoaster of a year. So what really happened last year? Without further ado, the Toronto Real Estate Board (along with some of my thoughts) sums up hundreds of factors that contributed to the Toronto real estate market in its annual Market Year in Review & Outlook report.
You can access the full report here. But for those looking for a quick and clear recap, I’ve pulled the top facts and stats that every buyer and seller should know. To make it easy to find the information you are most curious about, this recap will be broken into the following sections:
- Market As A Whole
- Homeowner Stats (Buyer and Seller Stats)
- Economic Impact
- Market Outlook for 2018
MARKET AS A WHOLE
1. Average Sale Price
Since 2016 the average sale price in the Greater Toronto Area is up almost $100,000 to $822,681, which is a 12.7% increase ($92,844 to be exact). It’s important to note that this is the average of Toronto (the GTA) as a whole and does not reflect individual neighbourhood average. For example, the average sale price for residential homes in Trinity Bellwoods is much higher. For exact numbers of this location or any of interest send me an email. 🙂 I will also be posting January’s numbers shortly – so check back!
2. Total Number of Sales
Even though the average sale price is up, the total number of sales reported through TREB’s MLS system is down by 18.3%, which amounts to 92,394 total sales in the GTA for 2017. However, it’s important to highlight that the 113,040 sales made in 2016 was a record-breaking high.
As 2016 ended as a record-breaking year which started off 2017 strong with a strong price growth and demand for ownership. 2017’s Q1 market activity was arguably the reason that prompted the Ontario government to announce the Fair Housing Plan (FHP) as of April 2017. The plan aims to create fair housing opportunities for Canadian residents, which includes 16 policy changes, 15% foreign buyer tax, vacancy tax, and expanding rental controls, to name a few.
As we headed into Q4, housing demand strengthened again (in comparison to Q2 and Q3) this is likely due to the announcements of the new, stricter mortgage lending guidelines that were scheduled to come into full effect in January 2018. Because of this, we ended the year of quite similar to the way it started, with multiple offers, bidding wars, and anxious buyers.
3. Total Number of Listings
The total number of listings that landed on TREB’s MLS system totalled 178,489, which is 15.7% higher than the total listings recorded in 2016. This higher number of listings is no shock as the market hype was high and many homeowners saw the increasing price tags as a time to “cash-in”.
4. Second Property Ownership
This graph highlights that 80% of homeowners in the GTA do not own a second property. For those that this information could apply to might want consider looking into the reasons why they don’t own a second property (or investment property) and if it’s reasonable or feasible to build more equity by investing in a second property.
5. Average Down Payment
Across the GTA the average down payment price put down on a property is 31%. It’s important to note that the required down payment is 5% for property purchases under $1 million. However, putting down less than 20% will land you a high-ratio mortgage. A high-ratio mortgage requires the purchaser to pay mortgage default insurance.
6. Where People get Down Payment Money?
Though 47% of the average share of down payment (31% saving outside RRSPs, and 16% Other) is not recorded in this graph, it’s interesting to note that 14% of buyers use gifts from family/friends for down payment purposes.
7. Who is buying homes?
The total number of first-time home buyers has dropped 4% in 2017, meaning existing homeowners make up 53% of recent purchases. This could be an indication that the stricter mortgage rules are having an impact on first-time home buyers.
8. Who is buying what?
The report highlights that 68 percent of home buyers purchased a resale home. And the remaining 32% made a future investment into a new construction project. Interestingly, resale transactions are slightly lower for all homeowner purchases, which could be an indication of an increased interest in new construction projects.
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the facts and stats on 2017, let’s take a look at TREB’s predictions for Toronto’s 2018 real estate market.
9. Spin-off expenditure for home sales
TREB forecasts that the range of sales in 2018 will be between 85,000 and 95,000 real estate transactions. This means if we see numbers on the lower end of this spectrum that there will be roughly 10,000 fewer sales this year.
10. Total Number of Jobs Supported
In addition to the annual average of 142,000 jobs supported by GTA home sales, home construction makes up another 150,000 jobs for a total of 292,000+ jobs created/support through real estate transactions.
MARKET OUTLOOK FOR 2018
11. Estimated average sale price
TREB does not anticipate an impactful growth or decline in overall average selling price as they forecast a range between $800,000 and $850,000. Which is pointing towards a flattening of price trends for 2018.
14. Purchaser Confidence
The initial announcement of new mortgage interest hikes may have created a stir with buyers and even existing homeowners, but it seems as though 74% of buyers still believe they will qualify for a mortgage with the 2% increase. Though being confident is a great start, be sure to talk to a trusted mortgage consultant. If you need a recommendation, please let me know!
So what does this mean for 2018?
In the words of TREB, “Despite a dip in home sales, market conditions will remain balanced enough to see support for home prices, especially as we move toward the end of 2018. Months of inventory will trend between 2.5 and three months over the course of the year – up from what we experienced in 2016 and first quarter of 2017, but in line with what was experienced in the second half of last year.”