Market Watch December 2023
Annual Home Sales Down Significantly in Waterloo Region in 2023
WATERLOO REGION, ON (January 5, 2024) — There were 6,623 homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System of the Waterloo Region Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) in 2023, a decrease of 14.8 per cent compared to 2022, and a decline of 23.2 per cent compared to the previous 5-year average for annual sales.
“It should not be a surprise to anyone that for the second year in a row, the housing market in Waterloo Region has been affected by higher interest rates, resulting in a significant decline in annual sales,” says Christal Moura, President of WRAR. “This year’s sales reached their lowest point in over two decades.”
According to Moura, the trend observed in December reflects the overall slowdown in home sales throughout the year, with sales falling behind historical levels. The last time annual sales in Waterloo Region recorded fewer than 7,000 units was the year 2000.
Total residential sales in December included 172 detached (up 3.6 per cent from December 2022), and 54 townhouses (down 6.9 per cent). Sales also included 35 condominium units (up 2.9 per cent) and 24 semi-detached homes (down 4.0 per cent).
For 2023, total residential sales included 3,901 detached (down 17.0 per cent), and 1,339 townhouses (down 6.5 per cent). Sales also included 904 condominium units (down 9.2 per cent) and 457 semi-detached homes (down 26.6 per cent).
In December, the average sale price for all residential properties in Waterloo Region was $740,697. This represents a 2.8 per cent increase compared to December 2022 and a 2.1 per cent decrease compared to November 2023.
The average sale price for a townhouse was $617,023. This represents a 0.8 per cent increase from December 2022 and an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to November 2023.
The average sale price for an apartment-style condominium was $490,816. This represents a 5.0 per cent increase from December 2022 and an increase of 9.0 per cent compared to November 2023.
The average sale price for a semi was $613,283. This represents a decrease of 0.5 per cent compared to December 2022 and a decrease of 0.5 per cent compared to November 2023.
“Waterloo Region’s slowing housing market echoes the overall slowdown we are seeing in the broader economy,” says Moura.”
There were 287 new listings added to the MLS® System in the Waterloo Region last month, a decrease of 6.2 per cent compared to December of last year and a 17.9 per cent decrease compared to the previous ten-year average for December.
In 2023, 11,528 new listings were added to WRAR’s MLS® System, a decrease of 14.4 per cent compared to 2022, and a 4.4 per cent decrease compared to the previous ten-year annual average.
The total number of homes available for sale in active status at the end of December was 779, an increase of 36.0 per cent compared to December of last year and 5.8 per cent above the previous ten-year average of 736 listings for December.
The number of months of inventory is up 55.6 per cent compared to December of last year, but still historically low at 1.4 months. Between 2010 and 2015, December’s rolling 12-month average was 3.5 months. The number of months of inventory represents how long it would take to sell off current inventories at the current sales rate.
The average number of days to sell in December was 30, compared to 25 days in December 2022. The previous 5-year average is 23 days.
The average days to sell in 2023 was 19 days, compared to 14 days in 2022 and a previous 5-year average of 18 days.
“While the dream of home ownership is alive, it is not quite well,” says Moura. “Housing continues to be less accessible to too many people in our region. This speaks to the pressing need for not just more housing to be built, but housing that spans all forms and economic strata, to ensure everyone has a suitable place to call home.”
TRREB: The 2023 GTA Housing Market: High Borrowing Costs and Growing Affordability Challenges
TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 4, 2024 – While the overall demand for housing remained buoyed by record immigration in 2023, more of this demand was pointed at the rental market.
The number of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in 2023 came in at less than 70,000 due to affordability issues brought about by high mortgage rates.
“High borrowing costs coupled with unrealistic federal mortgage qualification standards resulted in an unaffordable home ownership market for many households in 2023. With that said, relief seems to be on the horizon. Borrowing costs are expected to trend lower in 2024. Lower mortgage rates coupled with a relatively resilient economy should see a rebound in home sales this year,” said new Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Jennifer Pearce.
There were 65,982 home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in 2023 – a 12.1 per cent dip compared to 2022. Despite an uptick during the spring and summer, the number of new listings also declined in 2023. The trend for listings has been largely flat-to-down over the past decade, which is problematic in the face of a steadily growing population. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales increased compared to November, while new listings declined for the third straight month.
The average selling price for all home types in 2023 was $1,126,604, representing a 5.4 per cent decline compared to 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the average selling price edged higher, while the MLS® Home Price Index Composite edged lower.
“Buyers who were active in the market benefitted from more choice throughout 2023. This allowed many of these buyers to negotiate lower selling prices, alleviating some of the impact of higher borrowing costs. Assuming borrowing costs trend lower this year, look for tighter market conditions to prompt renewed price growth in the months ahead,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.
“Record immigration into the GTA in the coming years will require a corresponding increase in the number of homes available to rent or purchase. People need to have comfort in knowing that they can plan their lives and future with the certainty that they will have the stability of an affordable place to live,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.
TRREB is releasing its 2024 Market Outlook and Year in Review report and digital digest on Thursday, February 8. Discover the listings, sales and price forecast for 2024 and a more in depth look at the 2023 housing market. The outlook will also include the latest Ipsos polling on home buying and selling intentions, homeowners’ viewpoints on government policy and taxation,and insights on immigration.
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