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Stale Report: Which Toronto real estate listings are (and aren’t) selling

Foreign investors looking to buy in Toronto

Introducing the Stale Report

Many real estate features focus on what sold and for how much (and in this market, with gasps thrown in for good measure). We’ve decided to take a different approach.

Zolo News analyzed approximately 5,000 residential freehold and condominium properties that were listed on MLS as of November 30, 2018.

The report focuses on stale listings, real estate lingo for properties listed for sale that failed to sell within a certain period of time.  For our purposes, we consider a listing to be stale if it has sat on the market for 31 days or longer (a period of time also known as “DOM” or “Days on Market”). This 30-day mark is considered the industry and historical standard for the general average amount of time a listing will sit on the market before selling to a new buyer.

Why look at stale listings? Because it’s a great way to assess the relative health of a market. 

A “fresher” market favours sellers, indicating market demand. 

A “stale” market is better for buyers, affording them more leverage when purchasing homes that have languished on the market.

Overview

According to the most recent data, Toronto’s residential housing market is a tale of two cities.

Over half of the city’s high-rise listings were “fresh” with 59% of condos selling within a month’s time or less. Conversely, more single-family homes were found to be stale, with 1329 (53%) of listings on the market for 31 days or more.

Which communities had the freshest/stalest listings?

You may be thinking: Neighbourhoods, communities — what’s the difference? It’s subtle, but it can have a real impact on how we interpret listings. Neighbourhoods refer to the individual pockets of the city that we call home — and Toronto is nothing if not a collection of neighbourhoods.

For example, the Junction Area is popular neighbourhood in the city’s west end, but it’s also part of of the larger Toronto W02 community that includes the High Park North and Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-Junction neighbourhoods.

While learning about a neighbourhood is interesting, it makes it hard to discern larger trends in a given area, which is where communities come in. These collection of neighbourhoods make it easier for realtors (and prospective homeowners) to track real estate fluctuations throughout the Toronto.  

Single-Family Homes

The city’s east end continues to be a healthy market for freehold homes. The E09, E01, E06 and E04 communities were among the communities with the freshest active listings in Toronto, with stale listings of 41% or less.

Toronto’s C09 community, which comprises the Rosedale-Moore Park area of Toronto had the highest percentage of stale listings (72%) in November, followed by Toronto C12 at 68%. However, Toronto C14 boasted the highest number of overall stale listings, as well as the highest number of total listings for the month end, at 94 out of 150 total listings.

Condos

In an exceedingly fresh market, Toronto’s W01, E10 and W03 markets were at the top of the pack, with stale listing rates below 30%. However, relatively low volume helps bolster those scores. By contrast, Toronto’s C01 community – which houses Toronto’s Waterfront Communities – had a 36% stale rate, with a whopping 502 active listings — more than double the volume of the next most popular listing area, C08.

While the east end may be a great place to sell a detached home, prospective condo sellers may have a harder time, with the highest amount of stale listings on the market – Toronto E02, E06 E03 and E07 coming in with 54% of their listings being stale. Also of note is Toronto’s C02 area, which includes the Annex and Wychwood areas. It was among the top five communities with the most stale communities, but had roughly four times the listings of most of its east end cohorts.

What is the median price of stale homes in Toronto?

Single-Family Homes

The median price for all stale freehold listings in November was $1,490,000.

(We chose not to use an average because luxury homes tend to inflate average counts. Case in point, a number of eight-figure homes spread across North York and The Bridle Path would bring the average freehold listing up to $2,182,176.)

Condos

The median price for all stale condo listings in November was $625,000. As with freeholds, luxe listings push average listing prices to almost $860,000.

What is the median DOM of stale listings per neighbourhood?

Single-Family Homes

Across the city by neighbourhood, the median length of time that “stale” single family listings remained on the market was 57 days.

As of November 2018, the stalest freehold listing is a home in luxe Bridle Path neighbourhood of Toronto, which has been on the market for roughly 19 months (it’s common for expensive listings to linger on the market).

Condos

The median length of time that stale condo listings remained on the market was 52 days.

As of November 2018, the stalest condo listing is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom listing in Etobicoke that’s been on the market for almost a year – 329 days.

METHODOLOGY

Toronto’s real estate market is a fluid platform with listings constantly being added and removed from the real estate portal. Zolo’s analysis is a snapshot comprised of active residential Freehold and Condominium listings on MLS as of November 30, 2018. Since our list is gathered independently, there can be a slight variation in figures posted in our stale report and the Toronto Real Estate Board’s monthly Market Watch report.

For single-family homes (otherwise classified as freehold listings), the following property types have been excluded from our analysis: Vacant Land/Other.

For condo listings, the following property types have been excluded from our analysis: Parking Space, Locker, Leasehold, Det Condo, Co-Op Apt, Locker, Other, Common.

This report does not factor in re-lists by sellers under a different MLS number.

Image of Romana King

Romana King

Romana King is an award-winning personal finance writer, real estate expert and the current Director of Content at Zolo. Romana has contributed to business and lifestyle publications including CBC.ca, Toronto Sun, Maclean’s, MoneySense, Globe & Mail Custom Content Team, and The Toronto Star. Among her achievements, Romana won silver for her annual Where to Buy Now real estate package in the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. In 2015, she won a SABEW Business Journalism award. When she was editor of CI Top Broker, Romana helped guide her team to obtain its first KRW Business Journalism nomination, and in 2011, she was part of a small team that helped MoneySense win Magazine of the Year at the 34th annual National Magazine Awards.

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