What Do You Mean by Average? (Part 2)

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Toronto’s August market was tighter than a year ago.  Continuing the trend we saw in July, we were emerging from the lockdown and sales were picking up.  One year later, sales volumes are lower as Torontonians are squeezing the last of the summer.  New listings declined across all the different types of properties.  As mentioned last month, we believe that sellers are putting off selling their properties in the upcoming fall market.

With supply down, average prices were up for most market segments. (You will need to download images to see the charts below)

The average prices reported in these newsletters look at mean prices. Last month, we looked at the differences in mean (which is calculated by adding up all the prices and then dividing by how many properties were sold) and median (which is the middle value of properties sold in the month) prices.  The take away is that Toronto’s mean prices are always higher than median prices.  When the difference between the mean and median price is in line with the average differential, the mean price can be trusted more as a central tendency.

So what about mean vs. median price increases?  Do they change at the same rate and what can we infer from that?

Chart 1 – 2021/2020 Price Change – Detached Properties

Mean and median price changes in the detached market moved in the same direction and in similar magnitude.  When the mean and median increase is similar (ie. March, May, June and July), it means that the average market growth is very reliable as the market growth is evenly distributed.  When the mean price increase is significantly less than the median price increase (ie. Jan and April), this means that there were more sales on the low end thereby bringing down the mean and it would be helpful to average the median and mean price growth to arrive a more reflective average price change.  For example, January mean and median price growth was 15% and 23% respectively.  Averaging these 2 metrics would result in a 19% January price growth for the detached market.

Chart 2 – 2021-2021 Price Change – Condominium Apartment

Similar to the detached market, mean and median prices generally move in the same direction in the condo market.  There was an exception which occurred in March when mean and median prices diverged.  In this case, the mean price showed a decrease of 1% despite an increase of 1% in median prices.  This can be explained by a disproportionately small number of condos selling for extremely low prices thereby bringing down the mean.

The takeaway is that in Toronto’s real estate market, there are sufficient sales resulting in mean and median prices normally moving in the same direction and similar magnitude.

Shen Shoots the Breeze:

As you probably know, I am really into food. When we travel, I look forward to trying new dishes and experiencing foods that are difficult to come by at home. Fortunately, Toronto is known for its culinary diversity and almost all cuisines from around the globe can be enjoyed.

A friend recently mused that I was holding out on her when I shared that we had a great fish and chips place and a jerk chicken sandwich joint less than a 5-minute walk from our home. So with that in mind, I thought I’d pass on some of our non-Chinese favourites:

  1. We recently watched Korean Cold Noodle Rhapsody on Netflix; which is a documentary that explores the complex nuances defining one of Korea’s most beloved and seemingly simple dishes: naengmyeon. Naengmyeon in English means cold noodles and is a perfect summertime heatwave food balm to the soul. It is a delicious combination of slushy ice soup with chewy noodles. The toppings vary from region to region and restaurant to restaurant. Not all Korean restaurants sell this item. A Korean friend first introduced us to this amazing dish our favourite is at Cho Sun Ok in Thornhill. We especially love to save the pear slices for the very last bite.
  2. Across town, you can find all things Middle-Eastern related at Adonis Supermarket. They have several locations in Ontario but the one in Scarborough is closest to us. You will be mesmerized by the large pita machine located in the centre of the grocery store, the crazy selection of cheeses, olives, meats, fresh produce and desserts – you name it! Our favourite item is the Halal butterflied chicken with a pack of pita bread and a tub of garlic sauce.
  3. Another favourite destination is J-Town, where Toronto ends and Markham begins. The J stands for Japan and this collection of shops and restaurants sells all things Japanese: grocery store, seafood market, butcher, 2 bakeries, several restaurants, a cosmetics shop as well as bookstore.

Would love to hear about your special food experiences in the GTA?

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