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Have Times Changed? A Look at Torontos Real Estate Market A Decade Ago

Sooooo many numbers….everywhere!

It seems like for the past few months real estate numbers are flying everywhere.  I live in this business and even I am starting to get confused with all the different ways the media is portraying the statistics.  Is it for Toronto? All of the Toronto Real Estate Board? Ontario? Canada? My head spins sometimes.  It leaves me to wonder how does the public even understand?  

Without confusing things further.  Here are the July numbers for Central Toronto.  Where we live.  Nice and simple.  And if you have questions about another area – I would be happy to pull the stats for that.

And in other “flashback” news…I was cleaning my office and found this newspaper clipping (I suspect the fact that I’m even using those words dates me a bit..oh well..) from April 2008.

The map and chart above provide historical real estate junkies a lot of valuable insights including, the percentage of sales growth by neighbourhood and average sale prices.

In this article, The Globe and Mail writes, “The resale real estate market in Toronto area is finally showing signs of cooling after a near decade-long stretch of skyrocketing rises in both sales and prices. The Toronto Real Estate Board says 3,955 homes changed hands in the first 15 days of April down 5 per cent from the same time period last year. Within the City of Toronto, sales were down 11 per cent year-over-year, but prices have risen by 10 per cent. The average resale home in Toronto now sells for $454,211.”

Toronto Real Estate Overview April 2017

Let’s compare the highlighted stats above with the TREB’s stats from April 2017:

  1. 11,630 homes changed hands

  2. Down 3.2 per cent from the same time last year

  3. The average resale home in Toronto now sells for $920,791

This means in nine years we’ve seen a 34 per cent increase in annual homes sold, and the average price of a home in Toronto has almost doubled with a 49.32 per cent increase. These numbers could be perceived as high, however, if we include the overall growth of Toronto’s population in the last nine years the numbers may seem a little less shocking:

  1. The population of Toronto (2008) was 2,503,281

  2. The population of Toronto (2017) is 2,826,497

Our city has grown 12.9% in the last nine years with an annual growth rate of 1.43. And as the 4th largest city in North America, the population growth is only expected to grow faster in the coming years.

Historical Growth in Unit Sales

The graph above showcases the number of real estate sales by quarter from 1988 to 2017. Between 1998 and 2008, the most notable drop in sales marks the latter quarters of 2008. However, sales spike within the second quarter of 2009 and remain fairly consistent in rising over the next 9 years bring us to our current market.

What does this all mean?

In conclusion, those waiting for the Toronto Real Estate market “bubble” to burst might be waiting a long time. A moderate “bubble burst” in the GTA markets has the potential of hurting the country’s economy and destabilizing the financial system. A number of new housing developments underway; the creation of new policies for foreign buyers; along with the Bank of Canada interest rate changes, indicates (whether controversial or not) our economy is working to promote growth and steer clear of crashes we’ve seen in the past.

As a final thought, scroll back up and revisit the 2008 Globe and Mail article. There’s a sentence that reads, “The resale real estate market in Toronto area is finally showing signs of cooling after a near decade-long stretch of skyrocketing rises in both sales and prices.” This so-called cooling period lasted roughly two quarters until prices spiked and began to continuously rise over the last nine years. If you scan news headlines over the last few months talks of a cooling market aren’t difficult to pinpoint; however, is this just small talk?

So if I ask you today, do you wish you could go back in time and invest in real estate 9 years ago, 8 years ago, 7 years ago and so forth, would you say yes? What if I ask you this same question this time next year?  


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