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A stabilizing Toronto housing market has seen a cooldown in sales activity with steady average home sold prices. Average Toronto home prices increased 0.8% month-over-month from July 2021 and are still up 13% year-over-year. Toronto's housing market in August 2021 was slightly looser than a month earlier as the sales to new listings ratio fell from 75% in July to 69% in August. This loosened the position of sellers and the firm grasp that the seller’s market had on the city as increased slack worked its way through the market.
Toronto’s average sold price for August 2021 was $1,070,911. Breaking down into categories, townhouses led the way in terms of year-over-year price growth, increasing 32% to end at $977,127. However, townhouses also faced the largest drop in sales activity, with 59% fewer sales year-over-year. Detached home prices increased 21% year-over-year to an average price of $1,423,807, while semi-detached home prices increased 14% year-over-year to $1,031,580. Condo apartments saw the lowest price growth but were also the only home type to see an increase in year-over-year sales. Condo apartment prices increased 9% year-over-year to $688,568, a 2% pickup from July, while condo apartment sales increased 11% year-over-year.
In terms of total sales, detached homes made up 48% of all sales, followed by condo apartments at 33%, semi-detached at 10%, and townhouses at 10%.
The expansion of the CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will likely provide a short-term boost to condos in the Toronto region. First-time home buyers in the Toronto CMA spanning from Oakville to Oshawa, Vancouver CMA, and Victoria CMA are eligible to borrow 5% or 10% of a property's price from the Federal government for their down payment interest-free. The expansion increased the maximum household income limit from $120,000 to $150,000 and the total borrowed amount from 4x household income to 4.5x household income, which increases the home price limit from approx. $500K to more than $700K.
In addition, the CMHC has recently decreased their standards for insured mortgages. This reverses the increase from last year and drops required credit scores from 680 to 600 and increases GDS and TDS ratio limits to 39% and 44% from 35% and 42%, respectively.
However, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Ministry of Finance have recently raised the benchmark mortgage stress test rate for both insured and uninsured borrowers from 4.79% to 5.25%, limiting affordability for marginal buyers.
Mortgage rates have risen from their 2020 lows but have remained stable for the past few months. This low interest rate environment is expected to change by the second half of 2022 when the first of potentially many rate hikes is expected. In their last meeting on July 14th, the Bank of Canada maintained their near-zero target overnight rate but decreased their bond buying program from $3 billion to $2 billion a week. Higher bond yields could raise mortgage rates and lead to decreased affordability in Toronto.
Ontario is home to the largest number of real estate agents in Canada: the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) alone represents over 56,000 agents, or more than 40% of the total agents in Canada represented by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Toronto has been experiencing explosive growth in recent years in both its population and housing market. This population growth is not evenly distributed throughout the city of Toronto, however, with a significant portion concentrated south of Bloor in the downtown area, especially in the Waterfront communities, as well as the neighbourhoods west of the Downtown.
Total transactions for calendar year 2019 amounted to 87,825 as reported through TRREB's MLS® System with the number of total new listings reaching 150,000 over the year or on average over 10,000 a month. Based on the latest Toronto housing report, the average selling price for residential properties hovers just over $800,000; more specifically: $1,016,776 for detached properties, $814,424 for semi-detached properties, $659,990 for townhouses, and $587,959 for condominiums or apartments. For commercial properties,around 1,000 are sold each year and just under 25 million square feet of leased commercial property space.
Regarding real estate commissions in Toronto, the average combined real estate agent commission is between 3.5% to 5% of the total selling price. Real estate commissions are split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. Higher commissions are possible, but the standard rate is 5%.
Within the GTA, a recent survey conducted by TRREB revealed that 11% of Toronto residents indicated that they were extremely likely to purchase a home over the next year and 49% of recent home buyers were first-time home buyers. The most popular home type for intending buyers was the detached house which made up 46% of all residential property sales in 2019.
The second most popular home type was the condominium or apartment, which made up 27% of all residential property sales in 2019. Toronto has 2,326 high-rise buildings - a large number that reflects factors including population density and public transportation . In 2019, the condominium apartment market segment experienced the most dramatic year-over-year price growth with a 6.4% price increase from 2018, but prices are still more affordable compared to other property types especially for first-time home buyers.
With the plethora of choices on the market and the number of agents available, we understand that buying or selling a property can be overwhelming. Choosing the right agent is one of the most important decisions you will make, and that is why we are here to help. We have accumulated some of the best agents in Toronto and developed honest and transparent profiles to make your decision-making easy and convenient—contact any of them straight through the website and secure your own real estate journey today.
Real estate commissions are the fees that home sellers pay to the seller and buyer real estate agents for their services. In Toronto, the total commission rate is set anywhere from 3.5% to 5%. Seller agents usually get 1% to 2.5% of the total commission with the buyer agents getting 2.5%. You can use our calculator provided below to calculate your real estate commission estimate for Toronto. For other cities in Ontario, please visit our Ontario real estate commission calculator page for more information.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.