The Toronto housing market has been considered hot for many years at this point, with seemingly no end in sight. It even managed to weather the storm that was the Covid-19 pandemic with remarkable fortitude, leaving many to wonder if house prices would ever come down at all. It wasn’t until 2023 when the effects of runaway inflation began to take their toll on the area’s housing market, causing the first noticeable dip in sales seen in years.
According to Jason Mercer, Chief Market Analyst at TREEB, “It will be a year of two halves in 2023. The first half will feel similar to the fall of 2022 due to the lingering effects of higher borrowing costs and related economic uncertainty. However, recent polling by Ipsos suggests buying intentions are edging up. The second half of 2023 should be characterized by an increase in demand for ownership housing, supported by lower fixed mortgage rates, a relatively resilient labour market, and record immigration”. In conclusion, Jason Mercer’s analysis suggests that while the first half of 2023 may mirror the economic challenges of the previous year, the second half holds promise for a rebound in the housing market, driven by favorable factors.
At this juncture, the raising of interest rates is neither surprising, nor avoidable. The U.S. Fed paused further interest rate hikes for the moment, which has caused inflation to hold at a rate 2.5x higher than where it should be, and that has certain ramifications. This impact on the economy has already trickled into Canada’s financial system, and taken root in places like Toronto, where housing prices were already fast-tracking to record-breaking levels over the last decade and a half. The sudden drop in housing prices has caused many to speculate if the real estate bubble is set to burst, but that conclusion may be presumptuous.
As of this writing, current Toronto MLS® stats show that the average house price in Toronto stands at $ $1,129,442 with 6,500 new listings in the last 28 days. The data also reveals that the median amount of time on market for a home in Toronto is 20 days.
According to a Zolo Toronto Real Estate Trends report for August 2023, the housing market in Ontario rose by an unprecedented 64% percent in the space of just two years, beginning at the onset of the pandemic. Yet, it has plunged 20% percent since that time. That still leaves housing market prices akin to fall 2021 numbers, which says a lot. Meanwhile, economists predict that the Toronto housing market will find its bottom by the end of 2023 before trending upwards again. While inflation plays a role, there are other market factors at work, notably the continuing issue of supply and demand.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE IN TORONTO
Meanwhile, the rest of Ontario is expected to see house prices fall much further than the Toronto area, which is a testament to the durability of the market. Nevertheless, home owners are reluctant to put their properties up for sale while prices decline, even if this uncertainty is expected to be transitory. Whether the Ford government’s plan to increase available new homes in Ontario by 1.5 million units comes to pass will also factor into pricing as time moves forward. In other words, the Toronto housing market is suffering a bout of uncertainty, but the impact, while noticeable, isn’t quite as dire as many expected it would be.
Mortgage rates have increased as we move into the fall, due largely to the Bank of Canada enacting two interest rate hikes in both June and July of 2023. As expected, this will have a dampening effect on Toronto-area home prices and sales as demand slows, and buyers wait for the economy to level out. Currently, the ratio of sales-to-new listings has nudged below 40%, which may suggest a vulnerability in the market, but this may be offset by a shortage of new listings. Should the Bank of Canada pause further rate hikes moving forward, the market should recover over the course of the next 6-12 months.
If you are looking to buy a house in Toronto, or sell a property of your own, you will benefit from the vast experience of our team here at Fine Homes Real Estate. Allow us to help you navigate this tricky era of the Toronto housing market so that you can meet all of your financial goals with as little turbulence as possible. We understand the way the market fluctuates, and how to circumvent the pitfalls of an unstable economic period for the benefit of our clients. Contact us today, and let’s get you started.
Robert Grin is a licensed real estate professional and a proficient writer specializing in various aspects of the industry. With his extensive experience and expertise, he provides valuable insights and expert advice to readers seeking information on real estate matters.