HELOCs Fueling The Condo Market?

By: Chris Dawson & Elizabeth Machula

HELOCs Fueling The Condo Market?

Tags: Toronto Condo Prices, Toronto Condo Market Report, Toronto Condo Statistics

Here are the statistics for last month:

Over the last 5 years, the average number of condos on the market for sale in September has been 1033. This past September we had only 549, available inventory is about half as typical. Back in September 2015, there were 1360 condos for sale, far more.

This is probably the most unexpected and odd trend we're seeing in the condo market... so few people putting up their condo for sale. Why? Over the last 3 years, there has probably been about 50,000 new construction units added to Toronto and even with all that new supply, there's so much less for sale?

I think a lot of the downpayments for these condos are coming from home equity line of credits, HELOCs. The total HELOC debt in Canada has risen from about $40 billion back in 2000 to about $290 billion today.

So what was that $250 billion used for? Buying investment properties? Helping children buy their first condo? Most real estate investors strategy is a long term hold, first time condo Buyer's are struggling to climb the property ladder. Could the massive increase in HELOC debt being partly used to buy condos and contributing to the lack of condos available for sale?

Over the last 5 years, the average number of condos on the market that sold in September has been 382. This past September we had 339 sales.

Low supply is keeping us in a Seller's market. 

The median price of a downtown condo was flat from $610,000 in August to $610,000 in September.

In September, the average price of a detached home rose from $1,244,275 to $1,342,363. Since January 2017, home prices are now slightly up 0.4% while condos are up 32.5%. 

Since 1996, the overall average price of all real estate transactions has risen every year BUT it's looking like this trend will be broken this year. This is mostly due to weak detached home prices for the first half of the year.

1996 - $198,150
2017 - $822,582
2018 - $786,957 Year To Date