GTA Real Estate Sees a Surge in Overbidding
The number of Greater Toronto Area neighbourhoods in overbidding territory tripled between January and February.
By Josh Sherman | 5 minute read
Wahi ranks the GTA’s top overbidding neighbourhoods according to where there are the biggest percentage differences between median asking and selling prices for homes.
In a hot real estate market, bidding wars can drive up the cost of a home by hundreds of thousands of dollars over the seller’s asking price. That was definitely the case in Toronto before interest rates began rising last year. During the pandemic, when homebuyers took advantage of historically low borrowing costs, there were even reports of homes selling for upwards of $400,000 over asking.
The Greater Toronto Area’s market has fallen a long way since that time — homes in February sold for an average of 17.9% less than a year ago, while sales volume was down a jarring 47%. However, new data from digital real estate platform Wahi suggests that bidding activity may be showing early signs of picking up once again.
Roughly one quarter (24%) of the nearly 400 GTA neighbourhoods that Wahi analyzed were in overbidding territory this February. A neighbourhood is considered to be in overbidding territory when its median sale price is higher than its median list price. Wahi excludes neighbourhoods where fewer than five homes changed hands in a given month. By these standards, there were 64 overbidding neighbourhoods in February, compared to 20 in January.
“Some realtors put a low price to initiate a bidding war among buyers. This is another possible reason for an overbidding scenario.”
February’s share of overbidding neighbourhoods was the highest observed in any month since Wahi began tracking the differences between asking (or listing) and selling prices in July 2022. It’s also up dramatically from the 9% of overbidding neighbourhoods seen in January. The previous high of 14% was recorded this past July.
York Region See Strongest Signs of Overbidding Activity
Continuing a trend Wahi identified last month, the top neighbourhoods for overbidding — which are ranked by percentage increases from median asking and selling prices — are found in York region.
Rouge Woods, Richmond Hill, led the GTA for overbidding with a median sale price that was 26% higher than the median asking price. Berczy Village, Markham, followed at 22%. Next was Rural Richmond Hill, where the median sale price was 20% above the median listing. Wismer, Markham, inched out Westbrook, Richmond Hill, as its median overbid amount represented a 15% increase from the median list price, compared to the latter’s 14% difference.
Eman Nejad, head of data science at Wahi, notes that overbidding is a reflection of market behaviour but can be driven by a number of factors. For example, it could be a sign of demand exceeding supply — but not necessarily. “There are other reasons the price may go higher than asking. Some realtors put a low price to initiate a bidding war among buyers. This is another possible reason for an overbidding scenario,” Nejad explains.
In general, overbidding markets were priced below or around the $1-million mark, while underbidding markets tended to be more expensive with median prices in the multi-million-dollar range. Median sales prices in the top five overbidding neighbourhoods ranged from $1,209,000 in Berczy Village to $1,500,944 in Rouge Woods, whereas in the top five underbidding neighbourhoods prices ranged from $1,350,000 in Toronto’s Wychwood Park to $3,362,500 in Oakville’s Eastlake.
More Homes Selling Below Asking in the City of Toronto
Despite the spread of overbidding into more neighbourhoods last month, many buyers today are still managing to walk away with relative deals by making offers below the listing price — also known as “underbidding.” With only 3% of GTA neighbourhoods selling at asking (meaning the average sale price is about the same as the average list price), the vast majority (73%) remain in underbidding territory.
We put the real back in real estate.
Join Wahi today and find out how easy it is to get real estate in the GTA.
Three of the top five underbidding neighbourhoods were in Toronto proper. That makes sense given higher-priced markets were more likely to see downward movement in prices from listing to the point of sale.
Wychwood Park was the top underbidding neighbourhood, with homes in the Toronto community selling for 6% below asking when median sale and list prices are compared. Ledbury Park, in the former Toronto borough of North York, and the Township of King, the median sale prices were 5% below asking. Median sales prices in both Eastlake and York Mills — the second underbidding entry from North York — were 3% below median listing prices.
By clicking “Subscribe” you agree to receive occasional emails from Wahi.
You always have the option to unsubscribe at any time if you wish.