An Insider’s Look at Toronto’s West End Housing Market 2010 – 2014

Clients who have worked with me quickly realized I am a statistic junkie.  One of the things, over the years, which has been exceptional popular is my year-end review of our Toronto housing market.  We all hear our monthly housing statistics, but what I like to create is a graphic illustration of year over year market activity.

Before we get into the numbers lets get our housekeeping dealt with first.  What I mean by this, is to provide readers with what data is represented regarding TREB districts of C01, W1, W2 and W3 as well as types of properties. For properties the data includes condominiums, houses as well as vacant land…if we were looking at detached homes the price would be on average over a million, however by including condo sales it brings the average price downward.

For neighbourhoods in Toronto West they would include:

  • The Annex
  • Trinity Bellwoods
  • Little Italy and Little Portugal
  • High Park Swansea
  • Runnymede
  • Ronsesvalles
  • Bloor Street West

In analyzing our monthly housing market it is requires us to review 4 key metrics.  On its own metric it could skew results, however by reviewing all 4 metrics and looking at monthly 5 year period we get a more defined picture of our Toronto housing market.

toronto west average price 2014 5 yearsIn the above graph we are looking at the years from 2010 to 2014. What becomes very apparent is the truly cyclical nature of our Toronto west real estate market.

Now, depending whether you are buying or selling you will look at this graphic very differently. If you are looking to buy then you would want to look at the colder months:  November, December, January and February.  March is also one to consider as with students on March break many buyers with families are more concerned with taking in the sun than purchasing a home.    You can also see that August provides a short window, as again many buyers don’t think of purchasing during the dog days of summer.

As a seller you will look at the above graphic with a different lens.  To achieve the best price, the Spring market tends to bring out the greatest number of buyers which therefore pushes up selling prices.   You would also want to consider the short fall real estate market, as October tends to experience a spike it home prices.

toronto west 5 years days on market 2014Average price is certainly one key metric but you would also want to look at how long it takes a home to sell.  What you want to see is the monthly Days on Market statistic.  Again, buyers and sellers will look at the above graphic very differently.  For buyers they are looking for months where homes took the longest to sell, therefore:  January, July, August, and December.   For sellers they want to see their homes sell in the shortest period of time:  March, April, May, September and October.

Toronto west 5 year units sold 2014The third metric to consider is how many homes are sold on a month to month basis.  In 2014 we had a shortage of inventory, in that there were fewer homes/condos available for sale.  However in saying this, you can see a very defined cycle over the last 5 years. For sellers, the spring is preferred month to sell so you will see the greatest number of listings during this period…as well as in October.   It is also Supply and Demand, and this is time where you will see in the peak number of buyers looking to purchase.

Where you see months with the lowest number of sales, you will have fewer home to view but not as many buyers looking to purchase.Toronto west 5 year days on market vs selling price 2014The fourth and final metric looks at how long a home is for sale and how it relates to overall sale price. The first week a home is on the market is the period where it attracts the greatest number of buyers.

Days One Through Four

If priced at market value expect very little downward movement on price, and if the seller is not holding back offers then any offers will most likely be over asking price if a buyer is to be successful in getting the deal.

Days Five Through Eight

Now the spike in over asking price occurs most often in the 5 to 8 days a home is on market.  The prime reason for this is simply the seller holding back offers in which to maximize the potential for multiple offers.   If the property shows well and is priced at market value or slightly under,  then buyers certainly know to secure the deal they will be forced to pay over list price.

Days Nine Through Twenty Four

It will be no surprise that buyers interest wanes the longer a home does not sell.  With the potential for multiple offers fading away, it then becomes the scenario of where a traditional one on one negotiated sale will occur.  But in this world, the seller will have to accept less than their list price if they expect to sell.   Personally this creates a win win situation for both the seller and they buyer.

Days 25 Through Twenty Eight

So what causes day 25 to spike upwards?  Well…the reason behind this is that the original listing price of the property was too high, therefore the seller has now reduced their price to attract a new buyer pool.  With the new lower price sellers will find a renewed interest in their home.  This comes from buyers who first saw the property and concluded it was over priced, and as well the introduction to a new group of buyers who can now afford the lower list price.

Days 29 Through Sixty One

Sellers will find this period very lonely and frustrating.  Most buyers who showed any initial interest in the property have dismissed it and moved on to newer listings.  Buyers who do come to see house, come away with two gnawing questions:

  1. “Why has this place not sold?”
  2. “What’s wrong with this house?”

Any offer which does come in is certainly below the mark of the original listing price.

So now you have an idea of how truly cyclical our Toronto housing market has been over the last 5 years.   If you are interested in how detached, semi-detached and condominiums have done then check out the links below:

Toronto Central

Detached Homes Sold Monthly

Semi-Detached Homes Sold Monthly

Condominiums Sold Monthly