Last week we were reminded of the one question that has stumped scientists the world over; if a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one there to hear it, does it actually make a noise? In terms of downtown Toronto real estate it seems that we could ask a similar question….If there’s no one around to buy a house, does anything sell? Luckily keeping a sharp eye on everything related to the housing market provides us with all the answers to that question and more.
The freehold market took a well needed rest last week. New listings backed off by 17% from the previous week and sales eased by nearly 65%. While that seems like a large percentage, it is in line with traditional summer markets and the long weekend hangover. Naturally the true gauge of the health of the freehold market lies in the fact that nearly 40% of all homes sold happened above the list price. While certainly off its peak, that number is considered strong given the natural and cyclical slowdown in the market.
The condominium sector continues its conscious uncoupling to the general real estate market. Consider that while listings and sales are both down (3.3% and 10.8% respectively) more buyers are vying for this segment of the market which is forcing an increased percentage of sales happening at or above the list price. Over the past two weeks that number has increased 4%, from 15% to 19% which is only a few points off a record high. It is interesting to note that while sales across all price points have backed off slightly in the central core, they have increased substantially in both the east and west core.