Last year, the GTA (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) posted the strongest year-over-year sales gains of Canada’s largest metropolitan markets. Overall, a total of 7,527 properties (condominiums, attached and single family) over $1 million sold across the region in 2014, representing a 38% increase when compared to 2013.
In the first six months of 2015, the GTA strengthened its position as the leader in top-tier residential real estate, with gains in sales over $1 million once again outpacing that of all major Canadian cities. Low interest rates, increased consumer confidence, and tightening inventory all contributed to increased activity. As a result, momentum from the last half of 2014 intensified, leading to record breaking sales across all categories, more multiple offers, fewer days on the market, and an increase in homes sold above list price. The frequency of pre-emptive offers, where buyers propose aggressive prices in advance of stipulated offer dates, also increased, particularly in the $1–2 million price category.
Between January 1 and June 30, 2015, a total of 6,152 properties (condominiums, attached and single family) over $1 million were sold across the GTA, an increase of 56% when compared to the first half of 2014. Sales in the $1–2 million and $2–4 million category experienced a 57% and 46% increase versus the same period in 2014, totaling 5,217 and 861 units sold, respectively Sales in the $4 million category increased by 72%, to 74 units.
LUXURY HOME PROFILE
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of a typical detached single family home in the city of Toronto (area code 416) was $1,051,912 in June 2015, up 14.2% from one year ago†.
$2 million is also the approximate entry price for attached luxury homes (starting from 1,700 sq. ft., two bedrooms) and $1.5 million is the entry price for luxury condominiums (starting from 1,400–1,500 sq. ft., two bedrooms). In premier luxury neighbourhoods this spring, prices matched strong demand. For example, in June 2015, the average sale price for single family homes surpassed $1.7 million in Lawrence Park, $1.2 million in The Annex, and $2.9 million in Rosedale-Moore Park. Average sale prices in Forest Hill exceeded $2.7 million, while Toronto’s renowned Bridle Path/ Sunnybrook/York Mills district saw average sale prices surpass $4 million.
Following growth in 2014, high-end condominium sales in the GTA’s $1 million-plus market saw the greatest gains of the four metropolitan markets in the first half of 2015. Despite fears of oversupply, demand for luxury condominiums remained high, resulting in reports of increasing instances of multiple offers from industry experts. From January 1 to June 30, 2015, a total of 281 condominium units over $1 million were sold, representing a 48% increase from the same six month period in 2014. Specifically, sales in the $1–2 million range reached 232 units, a 44% gain from 2014 levels, while the $2–4 million segment grew by 67% to 45 units sold. Sales over $4 million doubled from the same period last year, with four units sold.
In 2014, sales of $1 million-plus attached homes increased 40% over 2013 as the rising price of detached homes propelled homebuyers to seek alternatives. In the first half of 2015, this trend accelerated, with sales volume increasing 70% to 380 units sold compared to January 1 to June 30, 2014.
Attached home sales in the $1-2 million range increased 74% with 354 units sold compared to the 204 homes that were sold during the first six months of 2014. $2–4 million sales increased 30% year-over-year for the same six-month period, to 26 units sold.
Strong demand for high-end attached homes was also reflected in the fact that 68% of units sold between $1–2 million and 46% of those sold between $2–4 million were purchased above the list price.
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
In the first half of 2015, sales of single family homes over $1 million saw meaningful growth compared to January 1 to June 30, 2014. Sales within the $1–2 million range increased by 57% to 4,631 units, sales within the $2–4 million range increased by 46% to 790 units, and sales of homes over $4 million grew by 71% to 70 units. Strong demand for single family homes was evident in frequent multiple offer scenarios, leading to 47%, 27% and 7% of homes in the $1–2 million, $2–4 million, and $4 millionplus markets selling for above the list price respectively.
** All information from the Top Tier Report Sotheby’s International Realty Canada