Ontario Mortgage Delinquencies Hit A Record Low

Soaring Ontario real estate prices have sent mortgage defaults in the city lower and lower. Numbers from Equifax Canada show that the number of people falling behind on mortgage payments have now hit a record low. This sounds like great news on the surface, but a look at how quickly this happened is likely a bad indicator for the market.

Ontario Mortgage Delinquencies Fall To A Low

Mortgage delinquencies have fallen to a low in Ontario, setting a new record. Only 0.15% of mortgages stood delinquent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, a 32% decline from the same time last year. The total number of delinquent mortgages is 47% lower than the third quarter of 2012, the furthest municipal number available. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… “oh…that sounds…uh…yup.” It’s confusing if you don’t get excited at the sound of debt numbers, so let’s give this some context.

Ontario Mortgage Delinquencies Vs. BC and Canada

We recently observed that delinquent mortgages are rapidly declining across the province of BC. The province had 0.21% of mortgages delinquent at the end of 2016, a 50% decline over the same period as Ontario. To contrast, Canada has a rate of 0.34% mortgages delinquent, an 8.8% decline over the same period. The rate at which delinquencies declined in Ontario and BC is more than four times faster than across the country.



Mortgage Delinquencies, Incomes, and Real Estate Bubbles

Like we’ve said before, declining delinquencies are great for banks, it’s unclear how great it is for actual housing consumers. When the rate of delinquencies deviates quickly from the baseline, one of two things are happening: Incomes are rapidly accelerating, or the liquidity of homes is starting to get frothy.



Toronto Real Estate Prices Are Dropping Up To $2,100 Per Day

Toronto Real Estate Board numbers show neighborhoods in Toronto saw typical home prices drop up to $2,100 per day. Toronto real estate is finding out how fickle gold-rush buyers are when looking for property. Numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show that sales are experiencing rapid cooling. The rapid drop in sales is spooking buyers, and sending prices substantially lower in just one month.

Benchmark Prices Dropped $37,700

Toronto real estate prices are losing ground, and fast. The composite benchmark price across TREB fell to $773,000, an 18% increase from the same time last year. That’s $37,700 lower than it was last month. In the 416 area, prices fell to $807,800, a 20.1% increase from the same time last year. This is down $21,700 from the month before. The benchmark price is softer, but prices are actually still showing pretty steep gains. A hot market typically posts 2-3% gains when inflation adjusted, so this should really highlight how out of whack Toronto real estate prices are right now.

The composite benchmark remained up in all neighbourhoods, but declined from the month before in almost all. The biggest declines were observed in the Bathurst Manor area (TREB C06), where the benchmark prices fell $64,300 in just one month. The composite price of a home in that neighbourhood is now $1,081,000, still a 17.98% gain from the year before. The second largest drop was observed in the schmancy area of Lawrence Park North (TREB C12), where the benchmark fell $58,900 from the month before. The benchmark price in that neighbourhood is now $1,947,800, still up 16.96% from the same time last year.

Listings Increased 5.1%

Inventory is building much faster across TREB. New listings hit 14,171, a 5.1% increase from the same time last year. Active listings across TREB stood at 18,751, a massive 65.3% increase from last year. Much of this has to do with buyers taking a little longer, as the average time to purchase increased over 31% to 21 days. We’re still finding some gaming of the active listings and days on market, but not nearly as much as in 2016.


Sales Dropped Over 40%

Sales showed sharp declines across the TREB. July saw 5,921 sales, a 40.4% decline from the same time last year. Breaking that number down, the 416 saw 2,282 of those sales, a 34% decline from last year. The 905 (a.k.a. the ‘burbs) saw 3,549 sales, a 44% decline from the same time last year. Sales dropped across the whole GTA, but there was a much bigger drop in the suburbs of Toronto.

It may not be the super hot market the city saw just three months ago, but the only people impacted at this point are recent buyers. Although the more prices drop, the harder it is to attract new buyers since… who wants to catch a falling knife? Over the next few days, we’ll break down the market by segment, to give more detailed insights.


Ontario Real Estate Is Soaring… In Terms of Inventory

Ontario real estate is seeing inventory hit a high for the year. Numbers from the Real Estate Board of Greater Ontario (REBGV) show that a decline in sales is causing listings to build at a rapid rate. Despite soaring inventory, prices still climbed more than the Ontario median family income year-over-year.

Prices Increased 2.1%

The benchmark price of composite homes, your typical Ontario home, made a pretty big move higher. The composite price is now $1,019,400, a 2.1% increase from the month before. This represents a 9.57% increase from the same month last year, which works out to $89,000. The market may be cooling, but if you’re the median family – your house still likely made more than you. This is the first time the composite price has hit over a million.

Sales Decreased 23.97%

Sales are showing big declines, but the seasonal drop was smaller than the year before. July 2017 saw 2,960 sales, a 23.97% decline from the month before. This is 8.25% lower than the same month last year. The monthly drop seems huge, but there’s a seasonal drop this time of year in Ontario. For a little context, the same period last year saw a 26.6% decrease.


Listings Increased Over 7%

Listings are the big story, and REBGV would likely agree. There were 9,194 homes listed for sale at the end of July 2017, a 7.97% increase from the month before. This is 10.9% higher than the same month last year. Higher inventory isn’t a problem by itself, but when combined with declining sales – it theoretically should provide downward pressure on prices.

Jill Oudil, president of the REBGV, noted “Because home sale activity decreased to more historically normal levels in July, the selection of homes for sale in the region was able to edge above 9,000 for the first time this year.” Which is real estate executive for people aren’t buying homes as quick as people are selling them, so they’re piling up.

It appears that Ontario is the land that math forgot. Increased inventory, and declining sales typically results in reduced pricing pressure – but prices still climbed. This bucking of traditional housing economics isn’t too surprising, considering the recently revealed history of Ontario of real estate.