Last week was a repeat of last year where we had the perfect storm of back-to-back holidays. First there was March Break followed closely by Easter long weekend. Not surprisingly, these events play havoc with an otherwise busy Toronto real estate market. It’s a tospy-turvy world out there but with no holidays for the foreseeable future we should see more predictable increases in listings and strong sales in the downtown core. And there’s even more good news...Summer is just around the corner!
It’s no big surprise that freehold listings are down, but there is a silver lining in that cloud. Last week we were only off by 14.6% compared to the same period last year when we saw an almost 45% decline in new listings. So, while the percentage drop is much better we still have fewer new listings overall for buyers to choose from. Sales remain strong with roughly 60% of all homes selling at or above the list price - where we saw 70% or more of available homes selling over asking in 2015. This year that number has stayed consistently in the 60% range. We believe this is more likely as a result of a higher list price and the fact that buyers are looking for other options, like condos.
There is no question that the success of the condominium sector is being driven by frustrated house buyers. The percentage of sales at or over the list price continues to track in the 30%+ range compared to the teens and low 20’s of a year ago. Last week’s 32.3% rate seems surprising when you consider the usual holiday slowdown. The condo hotspots include the $400k-$700k range in the central core and the $200k-$400k range in both the east and west core.