We’ve previously written about some of the things that a fall market means to real estate listings in our popular article, Pumpkin Spice Real Estate, with Extra Foam!

With all that has changed in how we live and how real estate deals get done, we wanted to talk about whether the September market bump is still something that happens.

The answer was a bit surprising.

Let’s look at what has historically happened in September in the Toronto market by reviewing three key metrics.

  • How many new listings came on the market?

  • How many sales happened?

  • How did the sale price change?

Let’s see what actually happens when we look at the historical September market compared to August.

  • September typically sees a 30% jump in the number of new listings that come on the market.

Since 1996, the average August to September jump in number of new listings is about 30%.  The below chart shows the percentage change from August to September going back all the way to 1996.

The lowest bump we’ve seen since then was in 1997, when the number of new listings only went up 12% from August to September.  The last couple of years have seen big month over month jumps from August to September.  Last year (2018), we saw 45% more listings come on the market and in 2017 it was a massive 54%.

If we compare what happens in September to the average month over month increase in the same time period, we see only a 6% increase compared to this 30% increase.  As such, it’s pretty clear, that for number of new listings, the September market is definitely a real thing.  We see substantially more listings come up for sale in September.

  • September typically sees only a 3% increase in the actual number of sales, and in the last couple of years, it’s basically been flat.

Despite the 30% increase in number of new listings, September is not particularly special when it comes to the number of sales that take place.

When we look back at the historical number of sales in September compared to August, the average increase in number of sales is only about 3%.  That’s the same as it what the average is for all months in the same period.

If we look at the chart below that shows the August to September percentage change, we see that the last couple of years have been even flatter, with only about a 1% difference in September from the number of sales in August.  We’ve even seen a few years (2012, 2007, 2006, 1998-2001) where September saw LESS sales than August.

Despite the big bump in new listings, we would say that when it comes to the number of sales, the September market is NOT a real thing.  We see about the same sales in September as in August.

  • September does see a bump in average sale price, going up on average about 8%.

With lots more new listings but not much different in terms of number of sales, it’s time to look at prices.

When we look at the average change from August to September going back to 1996, September has seen an 8% price increase compared to what people paid in August.  Given the overall average for all months is just 1%, this says that September is seeing a premium on the average sale price.

While it may be 8% over this longer time span, the last few years have shown an even higher sale price difference.  Since 2012, we haven’t seen less than a 10% price premium in September compared to August.   As such, we would say that when it comes sale price, the September market is absolutely a real thing.  If you’ve sold a home in September compared to August in the last couple of years, on average you sold for more than 10% higher.

When we look at the big picture, the results for September and the fall market are a bit surprising.

While new listings are up considerably, the number of sales is basically the same as August.  The sales that are taking place, however, are selling for more.

All of this means that September is a good month for buyers in terms of seeing lots more options but the price they pay is higher.  Sellers face more competition and won’t necessarily see homes flying off the market, but those that do sell get a good price.