Prices May Vary

In May TREB reported a 3.6% increase to the average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area. This result may not seem significant in comparison to the price gains of recent years; however, it did mark the first time this year that TREB reported a year-over-year average price increase better than inflation. This said, few people are buying the average home in the GTA, and with so many cities under TREB and so many different housing types, it is important to review how each region and housing type is doing.

YoY Benchmark PricesSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

TREB reports the benchmark price for five home types: composite, detached, attached, townhouses and condos. Of the five major regions monitored by TREB, we see that the average price increase was not actually achieved by any region or home type, all regions and housing types varied. In reality, Peel was the only region to see meaningful price gains across all segments, and all five gains were above the average increase. Toronto was the next best with all five segments increasing, though detached houses did so below inflation and attached and townhouse homes were below the average. York and Durham continue to struggle, each with three segments decreasing in value.

YoY Bench P graphSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Comparing how the housing types did in each region we see an interesting breakdown. As advertised lately, the condo market continues to be the strongest performer across TREB, with Peel, Toronto and York’s condo markets specifically driving those areas. Condos were not perfect though, as values dropped in Halton and Durham. Detached homes continue to struggle, as the price increase was the lowest in TREB and the lowest in most regions as well.

This graph also illustrates how well each region has performed over the last 12 months. From the graph we see that Peel has been the best performing region, while Durham and York have had mixed results. We also see a trend of stronger price improvements as the housing type shrinks. TREB as a whole, Peel, Toronto and York all show a steady price change improvement up from detached homes and peaking with condos. With detached homes being the most expensive and condos the least, this may be a clear sign of what buyers can afford.

5 Year Bench PSource: TREB, Six Housing Sense

Looking at how each region has performed over the last year does not paint a very long-term picture however. A region could be having a slower year due to stronger gains the year, or years before. Our second graph shows price gains over the last five years. Peel’s strong 2019 has moved the region into the top performer under TREB, with Peel region condos leading all regions and sectors up 87% in the past five years. Interestingly, despite Durham’s modest start to the year, the region is actually offering the second best returns across the board. In comparison, however, York’s recent price struggles have dropped region behind all others in TREB.

The average price of a home in the GTA is gaining again as of May; however, buyers and sellers need to remain aware. Not all prices are up equally, meaning there are deals to be found as buyers in some areas, and better gains to be realized by sellers in others.

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