Back in the old days of real estate the Realtors® would work hard up until the end of June and then they would take the summer off, as did most of their clients. Over the past many years the Spring market has lasted well into the summer with usually just a short break in the dog days of August. We are definitely feeling old school with the slow pace of listings and even slower pace of sales heading into summer this year. It reminds us though, as the families stop thinking about real estate and start thinking about camp, that there is a new summer real estate season driven by the tens of thousands of students who flock to the city to study at one of the many universities. The smart ones are looking for rentals already and the rest will arrive over the next few months. This puts tremendous pressure on the city’s rental stock which in turn pushes at the lower end of the condo market as desperate parents buy condos for their lovely offspring that just couldn’t find that perfect apartment. And right now in Toronto the hottest part of our market is the entry level condo market.
The Toronto Real Estate Board reported that in the first two weeks of June the value of condominiums increased 23% over last year. Prices, however, have eased off slightly from their peak in April down a marginal 3%. We are not all that surprised as we continue to see reduced inventory, especially in the sub-$700,000 range where listings in the central core are down 33% over the previous week. Overall new condo listings were down 25% over the previous week but are up 12% over the same week last year. Sales declined for the third week in a row to 134 from 143 the previous week and the number of condos selling above their list price is down to 41%. Again the most active segment of the condo market was the sub-$700,000 with 49% of sales occurring over their listed price.
Unlike the condo market, the Toronto Real Estate Board reports that the Freehold market only increased in value 10% over the same time last year. Perhaps more importantly the average price of a detached home in the 416 is down 10% from its peak price at the end of April. Listings continue to decline as we approach the summer months and were down another 10% over the previous week. Sales also continued their declined in numbers down 10% from the previous week. For the first time this year the percentage of freehold properties that sold above their advertised price was below 50% coming in at 48%. Thinking in our old school way, we will see you on the dock in July.
HERE ARE THE TOP FIVE TRENDING STORIES OF THE WEEK:
Laneway suites could open up new Toronto housing possibilities: report
“When Alex Sharpe decided to transform a garage into a coach house in The Pocket neighbourhood in 2011, all city planners saw was a second home on the same lot.”
Emptied Kensington apartments appear on Airbnb
“What remains of 38 Kensington Pl. is still accessible through a short alley, in the heart of Kensington Market. Cleansed of its graffiti and missing most, if not all of its original tenants, the low-rise building is little more than a shell of what used to be a vibrant artist and student community.”
Toronto vacant homes tax could be hard to enforce, city officials say
“Mayor John Tory says he recognizes that imposing a tax on vacant homes in Toronto – as Vancouver has done – could turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. But he still wants city bureaucrats to study the idea and come up with a proposal for a tax that could encourage speculators to free up empty units.”
Cottage country shows early immunity to GTA real estate cooling
“The slowdown in Toronto’s housing market is not reaching cottage country several hours away, where vacation properties are changing hands quickly and prices are still climbing.”
Hamilton ready for its close-up
“We have half-a-million square feet of vacant office space in our downtown. Some of that is old brick-and-beam. There is a building called the Right House [the historic former department store anchoring the downtown] that would be ideal for that. And some are plain office towers, with fully open floor plates,” Mr. Norton said. Rents are generally between $10 and $12 a square foot, he emphasized, far lower than rents in creative-minded neighbourhoods in Toronto.”