Toronto housing market picks up as sales, prices rise in March

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Toronto housing market picks up as sales, prices rise in March

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Toronto home prices may have turned around in March as increased competition in a tight market pushed sales and prices higher month-on-month.

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While prices are down nearly 15 percent from the same time last year, as demand collapsed under the weight of rate hikes, they are up more than 1 percent from February, according to data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

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TRREB President Paul Baron said real estate committee members were seeing competition for home buying in the greater Toronto area intensifying, and the latest data bears that out.

“Recent consumer surveys also suggest that condo demand will continue to recover this year,” Baron said in a press release accompanying the data. “Look for first-time buyers to lead this recovery as high average rents are more closely aligned with operating costs.”

The number of home changes rebounded from a subdued February, with sales up 44 percent to 6,896. However, sales were down over 36 percent from March 2022, still showing that toll rates have been increasing in the market.

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Condo sales grew the fastest in March, up 48 percent from February. This segment of real estate tends to be cheaper than single- and two-family homes, where sales grew 38 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Townhome sales rose 42 percent month-on-month in March.

Toronto follows Vancouver and Calgary in posting modest monthly sales and price growth in March. It’s too early to tell if this marks a turning point in the spring market or is just a flash in the pan. Spring is typically the busiest time of year for home buying, especially after a winter that has severely chilled home sales.

  1. Calgary's housing market remains tight as potential sellers hold on to their homes longer.

    Calgary home prices soar in March in a tight market

  2. Industry watchers have suggested the normally busy spring market could be the tipping point that will lure buyers and sellers back into the game, but that's hardly certain.

    The housing market in the spring could bring real estate agents in Canada a reckoning

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TRREB market watchers argue that despite rising mortgage rates, robust population growth could set a higher floor for Toronto home prices by keeping demand high in a market with little supply.

“As population growth continues at a record pace due to immigration, first-time purchase intentions will remain strong,” TRREB chief executive John DiMichele said in a press release.

DiMichele added that since home ownership is unaffordable for many Toronto residents, it is important to have a wider range of rental options than what is currently on the market. He advocated a policy that would prioritize purpose-built rental housing over the next few years.

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