When is The Best Time To Buy a Home -Toronto Housing Cycle 2009 to May 2013

When’s The Best Time To Buy or Sell?

For years I have been emailing my clients Toronto’s five-year statistics.   It was a great data source for illustrating monthly trends in the buying and selling within our Toronto housing cycle.    I thought it might be time to share my knowledge with those who have reading my blog on a regular basis.   First of all, let me outline which years we are looking at:

  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
Toronto Monthly Housing Statistics

Toronto Monthly Housing Statistics


One of the obvious to address is the bottom yellow line representing 2009 where we were slowly recovering from the economic downturn in the later part of 2008.   In the last quarter of 2008 housing prices dropped an average of 5% (and in some communities even more) where home buyers almost collectively took a break in purchasing.   The second quarter of 2009 we continued to the experience the global market stress and our Toronto housing market continued to be sluggish.  It was in the 2nd to end of the 4th quarter where our housing market made great gains.   By the end of 2009 our local housing prices had almost completely rebounded.   Two specific groups did well during this period:

  1. First time buyers looking to get into the housing market and capitalizing on the drop in housing prices.
  2. Buyers who were looking to move up to a larger home which also dropped in price, but the sale of their first time buyer home experienced a more modest devaluation.    Let me explain it this way…a $400,000 home dropped to $380,000 (-$20,000) where the $800,000 home dropped to $760,000 (-$40,000) which translates into a $20,000 savings.

You can see that over the last 4 years our Toronto housing market has followed a very definite and predictable cycle.   So when is the worst time to buy or sell a house?  It depends if you are buying or selling.


Here you are looking to pin-point months where average home prices are in a trough and days on market are at their crest.   Then you are looking at  January, July, August and December.  During this period you have fewer buyer to contend with as well as motivated sellers who did not sell during the more active selling months.


This strategy is of course opposite to the buyer’s logic and for sellers they would be considering April, May, September and October.   During this window you have most buyers utilizing the good weather to motivate them into purchasing.


Toronto Days on Market Statistics 5 years

Toronto Days on Market Statistics 5 years

It should be noted that this data is pulled directly from TREB and includes all geographic areas as well as housing types ie detached, semi-detached, condos, etc.  What this illustrates is big picture and within specific neighbourhoods, buildings and housing styles demand can reflect its own unique buying or selling pattern.

As always, if you have a question or need specific data contact me and I will see what I can do.  Michael McCann

I have update the month to month statistics to include October of this year.   Here is the link