Tracking Days on the Market

In Toronto’s competitive housing market it can feel like homes are listed and sold in the blink of an eye, but that is not the case for all listings. Since the spring of 2017, the average days on the market count in Toronto has slowly been creeping upwards. This post will look at how quickly inventory is moving in Toronto and the impact this is having on the market.

The amount of days a listing has been on the market is an imperfective measure, as a listing can be removed and relisted for multiple reasons, which impacts this statistic. Nevertheless, the Toronto market is beginning to trend upwards, demonstrating that sellers’ power while still strong may be decreasing.

Toronto DOMSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

From July 2016 to June 2017 the city of Toronto experienced the fastest turnover of homes with the average days on the market falling to under 20 days in all but two months. In April homes were flying off the shelves with the typical listing lasting just 10 days. Since then there has been steady year-over-year growth in how long a listing lasts, with February having an average of 22 days.

Detached DOMSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Comparing the two major sectors of detached homes and condos is where we see the biggest difference in the city. Detached homes started the year on a six-year high, lasting on average 34 days before dropping back down to 25 days in February. Both numbers are nearly doubled how long the typical detached home was lasting on the market in 2017, showing part of the reason why detached prices have been stagnant over the past year.

Condo DOMSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

In contrast, while condos are staying on the market longer than 2017, the sector remains active with the average days on the market well below 2014/15 numbers. Still, even the high-flying condo sector is experiencing a slow down. So far 2019 has been closely matched with the start of 2018, which showed a marked improvement over 2017.

DOM YoY FebSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

The year-over-year numbers illustrate how the market shifted. In 2015 numbers were tightening with modest reductions from 2014; however, it was in 2016 and into 2017 when the days on the market statistics started to plummet. As mentioned, this hit a low in April 2017 and then started to rebound. Last year saw massive gains for the city’s overall market, but the detached sector clearly led the way by more than doubling the length of time the average listing lasted. 2018’s strong gains are what make the continued improvements into 2019 interesting. Despite the increases to days on the market last year, the statistic is still growing in 2019.

DOM Monthly Avg FebSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Finally, we see how the market and the detached and condo sectors have faired monthly against their five-year average. The detached market is well above its five plus year average currently, while condos remain below their recent scores. This trend would explain why the detached sector is the most balanced in Toronto and condos continue to see strong price gains.

The longer the average listing sits on the market the greater the opportunity for the city’s housing inventory to build and bring balance back to the housing market. Over 2019 it will be interesting to see if homes ideal on the market longer and longer, or whether competition heats back up and these numbers start to fall again. The industry’s campaign to bring more buyers back to the market will likely have a big impact on which scenario plays out.

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