Toronto Real Estate Prices Surge Despite Fewest Sales Since 2009

Last month provided more evidence that Canadian real estate markets are credit driven. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data shows home prices made a massive jump in March. Was it fewer listings and strong sales that drove a typical home’s price almost $20k higher in a single month? Nope, it was just good old fashioned exuberant real estate buyers. New inventory climbed double digits while it was the weakest March for sales since 2009. 

Toronto Home Prices Climbed A Whopping $20k In March

Greater Toronto real estate prices advanced sharply last month. A benchmark, or typical, home climbed 1.8% (+$19,700) to $1,113,600 in March. Prices are up 0.31% (+$3,400) compared to the same month last year. Annual growth remains tame but the monthly movement was shockingly large.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Prices

The benchmark price of a typical home across Greater Toronto.

Source: TRREB; Better Dwelling. 

Greater Toronto Real Estate Saw The Weakest March Since 2009

One would think with face-ripping growth for prices, sales would also be on a tear. That wasn’t the case though, with existing home sales falling 4.5% to just 6,560 homes in March. That makes this past March the slowest since 2009. 

Greater Toronto Home Sales Had The Worst March Since 2009

The number of existing home sales reported through TRREB for the month of March.

Source: TRREB; Better Dwelling. 

Without context, it’s easy to dismiss the decline due to the Easter holiday restricting trading days in March (it usually happens in April). However, these sales are even lower than March 2020, when initial lockdowns occurred. People are buying Greater Toronto real estate in lower volumes than when they had physical barriers to purchasing. That’s… interesting, to say the least. 

Greater Toronto New Inventory Climbed 15% While Sales Fell

Greater Toronto sellers showed up in slightly higher volumes. New listings climbed 15.1% higher to 13,120 in March. This helped push the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) to 50% for the month, indicating a balanced market. This typically implies the market is priced right for demand, and generally price growth isn’t expected.  

Greater Toronto existing home sales were unusually weak last month. Conditions even loosened, with new inventory rising to help alleviate any pressures. That didn’t stop buyers from bidding up home prices very sharply, like they were in the middle of a low rate squeeze. Typically low volume-driven price movements aren’t indicative of lasting value shifts, but Toronto’s growth has been heavily slanted upwards. 

Experts might be mixed on where the market is heading this year, but one thing is clear—buyer exuberance is still alive and well. 

7 Comments

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  • Patiently Waiting 2 months ago

    Of course buyer exuberance is high. How could it be otherwise. Trudope still doesn’t understand that his immigration policy is hurting Canadians and you have Al Sinclair on Hot Property telling buyers they need to act before the BOC lowers rates or they will miss the market. Miss the Market – what does that even mean? Nothing like creating fomo. Realtors should be restricted from making remarks about where the market going. Just sell the homes – we don’t need your economic expertise given you don’t really know anything about economics. Realtors just want the Ponzi scheme to keep going. What Trudope wants is still unclear. Helping families isn’t it because he’s done and continues to do the opposite.

  • CD 2 months ago

    “Hey! There’s a bubble.”
    -Mark Baum

    • Patiently Waiting 2 months ago

      Hi CD. I believe there’s a bubble and prices can’t go much higher. Then you read something like this:
      https://themainlander.com/2023/12/14/understanding-canadas-state-backed-real-estate-crisis/
      And realize our government will sacrifice anyone to keep this going under the disguise of helping families. I’m not sure how JT sleeps at night.

      • Itchy Bear 2 months ago

        Patiently, the Century Initiative to increase Canadas population to 100 million by 2100 is supported by the Conservatives as well as the Liberals, and no party has put forward any platform in the last decade to do anything other than pump housing to the moon and beyond.

        Your juvenile name calling helps noone. PP is not the messiah. He will not crash housing. More than half of Canadians are still home owners and they will be incredibly displeased, whether it’s rational or not, with any elected official causing the value of their most valuable asset to crater.

        So many provinces have conservative governments. Which one has done better on housing than one led by a more left wing party?

        • Patiently Waiting 2 months ago

          Itchy Bear – what exactly are you itchy about? I’m going to assume you own not just your primary residence but a few rental properties you’re overleveraged on if this market corrects. When I invest in the stock market no government protects my investment from going to nothing. There are no guarantees. To assume, our government or any government would prefer tent cities, line ups at the food bank and low wages by pumping up unsustainable immigration levels in an attempt to protect home owners/investors is not natural. This continual feeding of this house price increasing scheme must come to an end. Let the market decide. After all, this is tax payer money being used to make these guarantees. Guess what, we all pay taxes. No one group should win over another just because the standing government is okay with sacrificing the younger generations.

          If I’m name calling our current leader (using this word loosely) it’s because he’s the one making the decisions. He could lower PR immigration to a sustainable level. He’s admitted high levels are hurting housing. Then why not take a minute and let us catch up before we let more people in? It’s not fair for anyone.

  • dan 2 months ago

    i call b s, no working class is getting a mortgage for 1 million. These must be foreign investors look to setup up airbnb business again.

    stop foreign ownership and housing crisis solved

    • Patiently Waiting 2 months ago

      Hi Dan. I agree with you. Until this government deems housing a basic right and stops allowing institutional investors from buying up single family residential homes nothing will change. We need to pressure our government to understand this fact.

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