Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market conditions tightened in March 2023. Sales accounted for an increased share of listings in comparison to March 2022, suggesting that competition between buyers is on the rise. The average sale price was above the average list price for the first time since May 2022.
“As we moved through the first quarter, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) Members were increasingly reporting that competition between buyers was heating up in many GTA neighbourhoods. The most recent statistics bear this out,” said TRREB President Paul Baron.
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“Recent consumer polling also suggests that demand for ownership housing will continue to recover this year. Look for first-time buyers to lead this recovery, as high average rents move more closely in line with the cost of ownership.”
GTA REALTORS® reported 6,896 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in March 2023 – down 36.5 percent compared to March 2022. On a month-over-month basis, actual and seasonally adjusted sales were up. New listings were also down on a year-over-year basis but by a much greater annual rate. This points to tighter market conditions compared to last year.
“Lower inflation and greater uncertainty in financial markets has resulted in medium-term bond yields to trend lower. This has and will continue to result in lower fixed-rate borrowing costs this year. Lower borrowing costs will help from an affordability perspective, especially as tighter market conditions exert upward pressure on selling prices in the second half of 2023,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark was down by 16.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, but up month-over-month on both an actual and seasonally adjusted basis. Similarly, the average selling price was down by 14.6 percent year-over-year to $1,108,606. The average selling price was up month over month on an actual and seasonally adjusted basis.
“As population growth continues at a record pace on the back of immigration, first-time buying intentions will remain strong. Because the number of homes for sale is expected to remain low, it will also be important to have substantial rental supply available. Unfortunately, this is not something we have at the present time. We need to see a policy focus on bringing more purpose-built rental units online over the next number of years,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.
CONDO MARKET UPDATE
The condo market still remains a very important segment within the GTA housing market, both in terms of home ownership and rental. With the return to the office, a lot of people are looking to either purchase or rent in the city to minimize the commute. With interest rates remaining where they are, it’s allowing more people to re-enter the market with more confidence. Condos are great options for almost every type of buyer as they all come in many different shapes, and sizes and offer certain amenities.