Prices Fall For First Time In 22 Years

By: Chris Dawson & Elizabeth Machula

Prices Fall For First Time In 22 Years

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 August has been 1034. This past August we had only 505, available inventory is still less than half as typical.

Over the last 5 years, the average number of condos on the market that sold in August has been 410. This past August we had 365 sales... demand was a little lower than normal.

Low supply is keeping us in a Seller's market. There is a significant shortage of condos for sale putting upward pressure on prices.

The median price of a downtown condo was up from $598,000 in July to $610,000 in August.

In August, the average price of a detached home dropped from 1,350,700 to $1,244,275. Since January 2017, home prices are now down - 6.9% while condos are up 32.5%. 

As we talked about last month, the returning Students were absorbing rentals/small condo inventory and that's now reflected in a small price jump. This is despite the housing market being down quite significantly month over month. 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. It looks like the overall average price will be lower in 2018 than it was for 2017. Here are the relevant overall average prices:

1996 - $198,150
2017 - $822,582
2018 - $785,816 Year To Date

So for the first time in 22 years, it looks like we are going to have our first year of overall lower prices than the previous year. Keep in mind, the condo market has actually been the shining star in 2018 and appreciated providing support to the overall average. The last time this average number fell was in 1989 and prices continued to fall for 7 years. Prices fell from $273,698 (1989) to $198,150 (1996) which was a total drop of about 27%. Will this be a single year anomaly or the beginning of a long slow correction? I would bet on a single year anomaly since 2017 was such a ridiculously strong housing market which really skewed that years number. I think that is the real story and explanation, that such strong growth one year will not be year to year sustainable but that doesn't imply we should expect prices to decline next year as well.