TORONTO MARKET REPORT MAY 2021

Sales in April on the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) were 13,663 units. That was a decrease of 12.7% from March. Some have suggested that this signifies the start of a market downturn. That is a little premature. April was the second largest sales month ever on the Board. Rather, we are entering a more normal market but still a ‘Sellers Market’.

The direction of a market can always be determined by the listing supply. In April, there were 20,825 ‘new’ listings and the sale to ‘new’ listings ratio was 66%. ‘Active’ listings were less than a one-month supply.
Going forward, monthly sales in the 8-10,000 range would be indicative of a normal spring market. If ‘new’ listings stay at current levels, then we will see a slowing of price increases. For the balance of the year, look for 3-5%.


The condo market has now moved back to mirror the overall market in terms of performance. The hardest hit market in 2020 was the Downtown/Humber Bay condo markets. April sales were down by 12% from March. In April, there were 1,757 ‘new’ listings which produced a sales-to ‘new’ listing ratio of 60%. Currently, the ‘active’ listings are at a 35-day supply. This market is still under performing the overall market. The market is mostly impacted by the shortage of vaccines and a weak rental market (foreign students). However, we believe that by September this market will outperform the overall market to the end of the year.

FIGURE 1: TRREB MLS SALES: MONTHLY WITH THREE PREVIOUS YEARS FOR COMPARISON

SOURCE: TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD

905 VS. 416 CONDO RESALE PRICES

Again, we are not tracking condo prices over several years but want to focus on the price gap between 905 and 416 condo prices. Starting in 2020, we saw that condo buyers had a preference for 905 condos. Prices were cheaper and commute times to work became irrelevant. That meant prices rose faster in the 905 area.

We selected the PSV Condos at 4011 Brickstone Mews in the Square One area of Mississauga. This 49-storey condo consists of 592 units and was completed in 2017. We looked only at 2021 sale prices and found 27 sales. The highest price was $835,000 and the lowest was $480,000. Sales ranged from a high of $885 psf to a low of $805 psf.

Next, we looked at 65 Bremner, the second of two towers at Maple Leaf Square. The project consisted of 872 units and was completed in 2010. For 2021, there were only 15 sales. The highest price was $981,000 and the lowest was $520,000. On a per square foot basis, these prices ranged from a high of $1,170 psf to a low of $965.

The price differential between 905 and 416 condo prices has always been about $225 psf. In this example, we can see that this differential has narrowed to $150 psf. Going forward we would expect this differential to go back to previous periods. While 905 condos will not drop in price, 416 condos will appreciate faster over the balance of the year.

FIGURE 2: 2021 CONDO SALES

SOURCE: TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD

416 PRE-CONSTRUCTION CONDOS

Further support for rising condo prices in the 416 is that pre-construction/new sale prices in the 1st Quarter of 2021 averaged $1,400 psf. The main reason for rising prices is that construction costs have increased by 30% over the past twelve months and developers are pricing this into their sale prices.

RENTAL COMMENTARY

The rental market Downtown/Humber Bay continues to slowly improve for landlords. In April, 2,705 units were leased. The supply of available rentals continues to decline. From April at 3,565, we are down to 3,166 by mid-May.

Rents are slowly increasing. For example, studios are now up to $1,550. The one-bedroom market is at $1,770. Investors like to look at rents in terms of a price psf per month. At the peak rents were averaging $4-5 psf. Today studios still show the best returns at $3.85 psf. One -bedroom units are leasing $3.25 psf.

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2020



July was the biggest sales month of 2020 but also the biggest sales month ever for a July according to TRREB. This is the Spring market coming late. We also expect August numbers to be strong, with a slow down coming in October. Everyone that was on a standby is catching up with theirs purchases and sales. That’s why we see home prices staying strong and experiencing bidding wars. Not unusual to get Over Asking now. July of 2020 saw a 44% increase in sales of detached homes over July of last year. For detached houses, the sales-to-new listings ratio is 67% and definitely a ‘sellers’ market’. However, ‘active’ listings for detached houses are lower than ‘new’ listings which means that the market availability for houses is shrinking and that prices will continue to increase. One of the primary reasons that low rise has been so popular is that people want a backyard. Increase in process for cottages, activity in countryside (farm lands) and suburban housing went up. The new trend of summer 2020- people are moving out of the city.

FOR INVESTORS

If your investment is caught up in condo units, and your condo doesn’t have a balcony- sell it! Better to reinvest the money in a new pre-construction. You can cash on the units you have now and use the money to put a down payment fir couple other units. In five years, the market will fully bounced back and your new units will value fortune.
The good news for Landlords is we see an uptick in the market for September 1st leases. The Government is now allowing International students to come to Canada. To register for a school like the University of Toronto, even if some or all classes are online, you must reside in the Toronto area. The rental prices declined. 12000 units were leased, ether are still 6400 units available. Also, there is no market for furnished suites, get rid of the furniture!

APRIL 2020

How are you?  I hope you are staying healthy and safe.

I wanted to give you a quick update on what’s happening to the current market and what can you do now to take advantage of the situation.

First and foremost is, check if you can qualify for any government support. 

Everyone should be eligible for the $2000 government support. The federal government has introduced legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)  that will provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and covers Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. 

Now, if you are a small business owner you can qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account that provides access to a $40,000 loan: There is 0% interest until Dec 31,2022 and you can get $10,000 loan forgiveness, provided $30,000 is paid back on or before Dec 31, 2022. 

If you have people on payroll, Parliament has now passed the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program totalling $73 billion. The bill will allow the federal government to pay companies’ 75 percent of the first $58,700 earned by each employee, up to $847 per week for up to 12 weeks. However, the federal employment minister says it can take up to a month for this program to be rolled out and for companies to receive the money.

More details about the government support you can find on our website under COVID-19 Update.

We are still open for business. Real estate is deemed. To be an essential service. The offices are closed but we all work from home. The transactions are still going through. We have been doing virtual open houses, virtual clients tours and meetings with clients over zoom. On MLS we introduced a tool that will allow agents to add links for Live Stream Open Houses to their listings so that interested clients can join the Salesperson in real time as they walk through the property, present its features, and answer their questions. We can promote upcoming Live Stream Open House showings on the  Collab listings, on TRREB’s public listing site (TRREB.ca), as well as on REALTOR.ca.

Clients showings are more efficient, usually only 2-3 showings and they are submitting an offer. Good time to get a deal as well, since you are facing fewer active buyers

Sales for the first two weeks of March were excellent for that time of year. Then the lock down happened, which caused the sales decline by 85%. Condos sales for downtown Toronto are off by 73% so are the condo leases by 69%. The spring market will be coming up soon, it is warming up now. We are starting to see a build-up of the inventory. Prices will soon fall.  By how much we can only guess, it will depend of two factors- when the government opens the country for business and. how much equity the property owners have. If owners have enough equity in their property, then lenders will be happy to defer or restructure payments and add them to the back end of the mortgage balance. And with courts being closed for now, any foreclosure or power-of-sale orders are at least a year away. That gives breathing room for owners. On that basis, we believe that prices will come off at most 10% and more likely in the 5% range from February prices. But this is a very positive prediction

The next 2-3 weeks will be like a flat line. They we will enter a window of 3-4-6 months where only sellers that have to sell will be selling and people that have to buy will be buying, or investors looking for deals. You will notice softness in prices. After that 6 months window the prices will increase again back to prices from March 2020. 

If you are a Landlord and you don’t have to sell, then stay put. Don’t make any move for the next 6 months. Have a conversation with your tenants, make a plan for their rent payments. If your tenants won’t deliver rent on time, remember to file M4 to protect yourself. You have to understand that the M4 form is just to protect the Landlord, and it doesn’t mean the Landlord wants to evict the Tenant. It’s a simple document that has to be signed to confirm the amount in arrears. 

When it comes to mortgages, our colleagues are constantly working on refinancing client’s homes. More than 213,000 requests for mortgage deferrals – skipping payments – have been completed or are still being processed by the country’s six largest banks. On March 17, the banks announced a program that allows customers facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 to defer payments for up to six months.

Some are saying to sell your assets before they will become your liability (Grand Cardone). Let go of tenants, who want to go and who you feel may not be able to afford the rent and sell the units before everyone will start panicking and start selling the condo units in large. My suggestion is to cash on everything you can and hold to money to take advantage later on the market downturn. You have to decide where are you with your investments and what will work the best for you to protect your investments and your family. 

If you have questions regarding real estate, want to buy or sell your home call me today.

My direct phone number: 647.836.9130

Stay well, I am here to serve you.

Marta Pozniakowski, M.A. | Broker of Record
Re/Max Equinox