Houses for sale in Ottawa

Toronto’s real estate market continues to be characterized as “tight” by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). 

TRREB’s March 2023 Market Watch shows active listings down for the first time in several months and new listings down an astounding 44.3 per cent year-over-year; it’s no surprise that buyers are going to great lengths to secure the limited inventory available. 

The market is teeming with anecdotes of bidding wars and properties selling over asking price, and the data is now reflective of these rumours, albeit slightly, with properties selling at 101 per cent of asking price on average on TRREB, and over 40 per cent of properties selling over asking price. Prices are beginning to rise into the spring market, despite a 36.5 per cent decrease in volume compared to last March.

 

Listing days on market vs. property days on market

 

Days on Market, or the amount of time it takes a property to sell on average, is the data point that continues to surprise in 2023, with significant year-over-year changes in February and March. 

TRREB uses two different days on market statistics:

      1. Listing days on market (LDOM): The number of days an individual listing of the property has spent on the market (this number resets if the property is re-listed)
      2. Property days on market (PDOM): Reflects the cumulative days on market for a specific property. It shows the total number of days a property has been on the market, even if it has been re-listed. 

In March of 2023, both measures of days on market have increased more than twofold: LDOM increased by 137.5 per cent; and PDOM increased by 145.5 per cent, when compared to March of 2022. 

This means properties are taking more than twice as long to sell as they did last year. Typically, a sales cycle this slow would risk inventory piling up, but fortunately for sellers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the aforementioned declining number of new and active listings is keeping inventory scarce. For context, this March saw fewer listings than the same month in the last five years, 30 per cent less than March 2019, the next-lowest month of March. 

 

Increase in house prices

 

House prices in the GTA remain the big, ugly, looming question for both buyers and sellers and rightfully so. The market is sending mixed messages, with monthly average house prices up two to ten per cent since last month, depending on the GTA market, after falling 14.6 per cent since March of last year. 

Only time will tell whether or not these changes in price are reflective of a return to the seasonal ebbs and flows of a spring market or something different altogether. 

Among the backdrop of a bear market for house prices and against the headwinds of a looming recession in Canada’s economy, all eyes are on Toronto’s seemingly forward-looking housing market to serve as a leading indicator for what the remainder of Canada can expect for the year to come. 

 

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