How the GTA regions have started year

The first few months of 2019 have demonstrated that while the GTA’s housing market moves generally in one direction, there are discrepancies to be found within the metropolitan area. For example, so far this year housing sales are up in the suburbs but down in Toronto, prices are up year-over-year in two of the major regions while down in three and listings are lasting longer in all but one region with new listings showing varying results across TREB. Overall, no region is wildly jumping ahead nor falling behind the rest, still the differences are worth reviewing.

YoY GTA Sales AprSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Throughout TREB, sales have been essentially flat year-over-year, being down just 200 in total during the first three months. Diving deeper into these stats we see that sales have actually been up slightly across the board in all the major suburbs of the GTA, just not in Toronto. Looking by region, Peel and Durham are up but they have only seen marginal gains over 2018. Halton sales are up a bit more improving by 2%, while York is really the only region with a true gain, with sales growing by 4%. However, in the city of Toronto sales are down and have changed by the largest amount, falling by nearly 8%. From the sales information we see that the early results for the GTA are showing a split between the city and the suburbs.

YoY GTA NL ApiSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

While sales are essentially flat overall for TREB, new listings are slipping for the GTA, though again not consistently across all regions. Peel and York are seeing the inverse relationship between sales and new listings work towards the seller’s favour, with sales up and new listings down. Toronto, however, is giving buyers some hope with sales down but new listings up. Finally, Halton and Durham are seeing both stats up slightly to maintain the status quo in those markets. Generally, the sales and new listings results have been modest enough across all regions to keep the same relative balance in the market as last year.

YoY GTA Price AprSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Analyzing price comparisons, we see that while TREB is up just over 2% year-over-year, the results are again split by region. With sales up slightly and new listings down, Peel has seen its benchmark price increase by 5%. On the other hand, the same situation is happening in York and its prices are down 2%. Halton and Durham have seen increased sales, but not increased prices with marginal drops in their benchmark price. Finally, though Toronto is experiencing the weakest sales and additional new listings, the city is leading the price gains at 5.5%. With Toronto and Peel driving prices for the whole GTA, it will be interesting to see how long the price splits can continue. Will Toronto and Peel fall or will Halton, Durham and York pick up?

The start of 2019 has shown that while the GTA does essentially function as one major market there are discrepancies to be found. There is a 12% swing between high and low performers in sales (Toronto -8% to York 4%), a 14% gap in new listings results (Toronto up 4% and York down 10%) and then even price movements vary by 7% (you guessed it with Toronto and York at the poles, Toronto up 5% and York down 2%). As the year progresses, we will monitor to see if these variations grow larger or shrink and become more aligned. Certainly, past performances have taught us these things have a way of balancing out, with no region able rise too high above or fall too far below without a correction.

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