Toronto home prices rise as competition heats up in tight market

Toronto home prices rise as competition heats up in tight market

Sales up 44% in March from month before

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Toronto home prices may have turned the corner in March as rising competition in a tight market pushed sales and prices higher month-over-month.

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While prices were down nearly 15 per cent from the same time last year as demand buckled under the weight of interest rate increases, they were up more than one per cent from February, according to data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

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TRREB president Paul Baron said members at the real estate board were seeing home buying competition heat up across the Greater Toronto Area and the latest data bear this out.

“Recent consumer polling also suggests that demand for ownership housing will continue to recover this year,” said Baron in a press release accompanying the data. “Look for first-time buyers to lead this recovery, as high average rents move more closely in line with the cost of ownership.”

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The number of homes changing hands rebounded from a subdued February with a 44 per cent jump in sales to 6,896. However, the impacts of rate hikes had taken their toll in the past year as sales were down over 36 per cent from March 2022.

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Condominium sales grew by the most in March with a 48 per cent gain from February. This property segment tends to come at a lower price point than detached and semi-detached homes, which grew by 38 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. Townhome sales grew 42 per cent month-over-month in March.

Toronto follows Vancouver and Calgary in a modest monthly growth in sales and prices in March. It’s too soon to determine whether this bump-up marks a Spring market turning point or just a flash in the pan. Spring tends to be the busiest home-buying season, especially after a winter that put a deep chill on home sales.

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

    Calgary home prices edge up in March in tight market

  2. Industry observers have suggested the usually busy spring market might be the turning point that lures buyers and sellers back into the game, but that is hardly assured.

    The spring housing market could bring a reckoning for realtors in Canada

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TRREB market-watchers argue that robust population growth could set a higher floor on Toronto home prices despite the rise in mortgage rates by keeping demand high in a low-supply market.

“As population growth continues at a record pace on the back of immigration, first-time buying intentions will remain strong,” said TRREB chief executive John DiMichele in a press release.

DiMichele added that since home ownership is out of reach for many Torontonians, it’s important to have a more substantial supply of rental options than what’s currently on the market. He argued for policy that would prioritize purpose-built rental construction over the next few years.

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