September 2023 Market Report – A Balanced Market?

Looking back at the month of August, real estate-wise, revealed that the GTA seems to be in a balanced state over the last few months. And because this is a far cry from what we’re used to in Toronto and the GTA, it’s hard not to feel that this is a negative thing.

But balanced can mean normal. Regular. Predictable. Which, if you’re looking to buy or sell a home, can actually be comforting. You’re likely not going to be blown away by some of the prices or a massive bully offer that knocks you out of the running for a home purchase (though that can still happen). Those things just aren’t the norm these days, whereas they were almost expected in the last 18 months, especially in early 2022. 

If you’re selling, don’t expect that you’re going to receive one of the premium prices that were almost common in 2022. Those days have since passed and it doesn’t look as though they’ll be back any time soon. So, if you list your home at a reasonable price, you’ll likely get multiple offers, but not the home run that you practically could count on in early 2022. 

GTA

The average sale price dropped for the second month in a row, from $1,118,374 in July to $1,082,496 in August. This drop of 3.2% wasn’t as high as the 5.4% fall from June to July and is in line with the typical seasonal decrease of 3-4% over the summer months. Last year from August to September the average price rose a modest 0.7%, so we’ll see next month where we’re at compared to 2022’s back-to-school period. 

When looking year-over-year, August 2023’s average sale price is only 0.8% higher than August 2022. 

Despite that dip in average price, the total number of sales was up, however small, from 5,250 to 5,294. It’s an odd contrast to both the average sales price dip and the typical trend of total sales falling from July to August. 

And even though total sales increased, new listings fell by 10.3% to 12,296 from 13,712. In July of 2022, there were only 12,294 new listings, so again, positive numbers over a year ago. 

As for active listings, they didn’t move much from July to August, increasing by 0.8% from 15,371 to 15,497. 

Toronto

July to August in the 416 revealed a similar trend, as the average price fell to $1,005,945 from $1,066,184. Total sales increased, but only by five home sales, to 1,891 from 1,886 in July.

The City of Toronto’s new listings fell significantly for the second consecutive monthfrom 5,117 to 4,330 from 5,789. Active listings fell slightly to from 5,928 from 6,059.

The 416’s SNLR stayed under 50% and decreased slightly from 49.7% to 49.3%. The GTA’s SNLR stayed above 50% at 51.1%, down from 51.5% in July. 

Outlook

For the rest of the fall, I expect a lot of what we’ve seen over the summer, a balanced market with no real peaks or valleys. Stability leads to predictability, which can be reassuring whether you’re buying or selling a home. 

There will still be sellers who will keep their homes unlisted because they believe that the market will improve soon. But with interest rates staying where they are for the time being, it’s uncertain when that better market will materialize. While inventory numbers are still low overall, buyers won’t gain an advantage that has eluded them for years, but at least they won’t endure the out-of-control bidding wars of the recent past. 

I expect the next few months to remain relatively the same

The key lies with the sellers. If sellers begin to adjust price expectations and list rather than wait, homes will begin to sell quickly again and we could have a very hot fall market in the GTA.

While July’s results were definitely a surprise to me, I’m still optimistic that it’s just a slower-than-usual summer for real estate sales. The overall positive real estate sales trend will resume once back-to-school hits, demand increases, and fall approaches. 

Thinking of moving to the next stage? Let’s chat. Send me an email (hillary@hillarylane.ca) or text/phone (416-882-4707).

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash