Toronto Real Estate Trends from 2012

A lot happened on the Toronto real estate market last year. The market peaked, and likely would have continued on its upward climb without the mortgage rules that were introduced in the summer. The fall-off in housing activity didn’t really pick up until September, only four months from the end of the year. Still, the dramatic changes it had weren’t enough to make up for the peak activity seen in the beginning of the year and overall, the Toronto real estate market performed worse than it did in 2011. All in all, here are the biggest trends that we saw unfold in 2012:

  • Fewer Torontonians moved during 2012 than they did the year before. In 2011 a total of 89,096 people switched homes in the city; while last year only 85,731 did. That’s a drop of 3.8 per cent.
  • While activity may have seen a fairly significant decline, 2012 home prices were still above the average seen for 2011. While Toronto homes went for an average $462,488 in 2011, the average home cost $497,298 last year – an increase of 7 per cent. It’s worth noting that, while looking at home prices alone can be misleading because different sectors can skew the final data, national home prices were also mostly up year over year.
  • Unlike the year before, condos weren’t the hottest thing on the market in 2012. Instead, Torontonians fell back in love with low-rise homes such as semi-detached, townhouses, and detached homes and started turning towards these. As they did, they also turned away from the once highly-coveted condos. In fact in December alone, the amount of Toronto condos sold fell by 27 per cent. To go along with it, prices also fell – by 1.8 per cent.

Where we’re headed for this year is hard to say at this time. While we’re definitely experiencing a cooling in the market, prices and sales activity aren’t likely to plunge to drastic lows. What’s more likely is that we continue on the same course that we’ve been some time. The market will cool, yes. But from here on in, we’re more likely to see a “stagnation” than we are any real crashes or bubble bursts.

And that’s all of course, if everything goes well with the global economy, what going on in the U.S’. economy, and what happens with our interest rate.