Sotheby’s International Realty Canada released its 2019 Spring Outlook Real Estate Report, predicting an active pace for the Greater Toronto Area’s top-tier real estate market.
Rolling off the “unpredictability” of last year, 2019 started off pretty strong for $1 million-plus home sales in the GTA. Based on the sales in January and February, and the high demand and low supply, Sotheby’s is confident that top-tier sales will be steady through the spring months, leading to total annual sales surpassing 2018’s total.
In the first two months of this year, $1 million-plus sales fell 2% year-over-year with 1,497 sales in the GTA. Sales between $1 million and $2 million remained steady, dropping just 1%, while sales from $2 million to $4 million decreased 5%. There was a big drop in $4 million-plus sales with only 20 reported in the first two months, which is 38% lower than the same period last year.
In the City of Toronto, there were 690 home sales that were $1 million-plus, 565 of which were between $1 million and $2 million, which is 7% higher than the first two months of 2018. While this price range saw an increase in activity, sales in the $2 million to $4 million range decreased 21% year-over-year, and $4 million-plus sales dropped 29% with just 17.
“Toronto’s top-tier real estate market has gained consistent and steady traction in the early months of 2019, and is primed for healthy spring performance. The ceiling for sales activity will be determined by inventory, as consumer demand continues to rise,” says Brad Henderson, President & CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
With top-tier single-family homes low in supply and still priced high, the strong demand for top-tier condos remained healthy in January and February 2019. Increasing 7%, there were 145 condo sales in the GTA for $1 million-plus. In Toronto, $1 million-plus condo sales climbed 3% with 134.
Sotheby’s also noted a strong demand for top-tier attached single-family homes. With 182 sales of $1 million-plus attached homes, the beginning of the year showed a 40% increase in the GTA and grew 55% in Toronto with 157 sales.
As the condo and attached home segments picked up speed, the overall single-family top-tier market slowed down slightly, falling 8% in the GTA with 1,170 sales, and 13% in Toronto with 399 sales.
Another interesting note was that Sotheby’s said that sellers in the $4 million-plus single-family market shifted away from using the MLS in an effort to increase confidentiality. There were only 17 $4 million-plus single-family home sales in the GTA, which is 39% lower than last year, and 14 of these sales were in Toronto (a 30% drop for the city).
Overall, Sotheby’s is forecasting an active spring for the GTA’s top-tier market. Supply is low, demand is high, strong job growth has been predicted for Ontario, and economic growth will be modest.