SALES COMMENTARYSales on TREEB have continued to weaken. For August there were 5,294 sales. This was 5.2% lower than in August of last year and even in July. Usually, sales in August are higher than July.
So far prices have remained steady, but we believe that is about to change. A lack of new listings kept prices from falling. But in August, new listings were 16.2% higher than in August of last year and the current inventory of active listings is 16.5% higher than a year ago. This represents almost 3 months of sales and is a strong indicator of a buyers’ market.
The Downtown and Humber Bay condo markets are even in worse shape. From August 2022 to August 2023, new listings are 40.7% higher, and active listings are 46.2% higher.
Based on the increase in listings, expect overall prices to be 3% lower this fall. For the condo market prices will be down more. Expect price declines of 5-10%. This does not even consider the Assignment Market (people trying to sell their pre-con condos before registration).
Initially, people believed that the Bank of Canada's 5% rate would be over by the end of 2023. Our guess is that this 5% rate will last until the end of 2024. This poses problems for many mortgage borrowers. So, what is the solution?
SALES ACTIVITY INWe looked at sales of small condos in the Humber Bay and Downtown Markets. The price range was from $300,000 to $500,000. The target market was first time buyers. (See Graph below) In both months, listings under $500,000 sold for above that number and these have impacted the average and median prices.
THE STARTER CONDO MARKET
In comparison to the 36 sales in August ‘23, 181 people rented an apartment in the same market. For a studio they paid $2300 per month on average. If they purchased a $500,000 condo with 5% down; their monthly expenses for a mortgage, condo fees, and property taxes would be around $3300. About $700 of that amount would be the repayment of principal, so even accounting for that, buying is still more expensive by $300 a month. But if rates were to drop to 4% then buying would be at a break-even proposition.
SMALL CONDO SALES DOWNTOWN TORONTO
August 2022-August 2023
RENTAL COMMENTARYIn August over 2500 condos were leased in the Downtown and Harbour Bay markets. This was down from July when 2900 were leased. The number of condos still available were just over 1800 units. The rental market is still tight, but it appears that we have reached the peak.
We are still experiencing multiple offers for many rentals. The initial list price to sale/lease price is still at 101%. While new immigrants and student rentals are the primary causes for this tightness, another factor is that some people who sell their home cannot afford to buy another, because they do not qualify for a new mortgage under the Stress Test. They are then forced into the rental market as well.
Rental prices remained unchanged from last month. The table below represents average rents by bedroom type for August. Extras for parking ($300) and a second bathroom ($500) per month need to be considered.