Greater Toronto, Ontario - Tuesday April 6, 2021 – Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Lisa Patel released the board’s monthly “MarketWatch” publication this morning showing the March, 2021 residential MLS® sales figures. This crazy residential real estate market has produced some eye-popper numbers of late - including a rapid run-up in prices as most are aware - but March’s big number might be the virtual doubling of sales volume compared to last March. Bear in mind, however, that last March was the initial hit of the global pandemic and that had a large impact on virtually everything… home sales included. The big “tell” may well come over the coming few months as “wave three” takes hold.
The Big Picture
Overall - meaning TRREB‘s entire trading area and all types of homes - sales totalled 15,652 in March, a 97% increase over the adjusted 7,945 sales reported the same month one year earlier. The overall average selling price this March was $1,097,565, up 21.6%. That average sell price also represented a five percent increase over February’s print. 5% in one month? A year ago we actually saw a drop in average price March versus February as the pandemic took hold. All figures are year-over-year [YoY] comparisons unless specifically noted otherwise.
Inventory: A Non-break
The number of new listings was up 57.3% YoY. That’s the end of the good news on the inventory front...unless you’re on the seller side of the market: The more relevant inventory stat is the [Total] “Active Listings”. In what’s been a notoriously tight market in that respect for a long time now, that figure was down seven tenths of one percent to 10,603.
“Forward Inventory” gives us an idea of how many homes are available in terms of how long it would take to clear the entire current inventory on the assumption that sales volume continues at the same rate. It’s calculated by dividing that Total Active Listings figure by the month’s total Sales. That currently equals .677 months. That’s less than 3 weeks - extremely low by historical standards. The “Absorption Rate” is the rate at which the market’s “absorbing” New Listings in the form of sales. That’s calculated by dividing the monthly Sales by monthly New Listings and came in at .689 for March.
The Major Home “Types”
Sales of homes in the Detached group within Metropolitan Toronto - “The 416” [area code] - rose 75.1% to 1,450 units at an average sell price of $1,750,518, another strong increase of 19.2%. In the rest of the GTA - “The 905” [area code] - 6,127 Detached homes sold, up an unbelievable 111.6%, at an average of $1,320,570, up another unbelievable 31.4%. OK - let’s not forget we’re comparing to a month where the second half - basically - was torn apart by a virus.
Condo Apartment sales were also very strong year over year, though selling prices didn’t have the same strength as the low-rise groups: In Metro T.O. 2,614 sales were reported, up 87.9%, at an average of $707,835, virtually unchanged at -.7%. The balance of the GTA saw 1,207 sales reported which was even stronger than The Big Smoke at +99.2% and averaging $607,220, up a healthy 13.5%.
Homes sold “23.1% faster” at just 10 “Listing Days on Market” [versus 13]. The more accurate barometer - if still “incomplete” - “Property Days on Market” - stood at 13 days this March, “23.5% faster” [vs 17 days].
A quick explanation of the difference between the two stats, “LDOM” versus “PDOM”: Average Listing Days on Market is the average number of days a property took to sell under the current listing contract. Average Property Days on Market represents the number of days the property was on market before selling regardless of whether the property was listed more than once by the same combination of seller and brokerage. In other words, it’s more indicative of how long homes actually took to sell, but “incomplete” in that it doesn’t take into account properties where the original listing was contracted to a different brokerage.
Just for a little context, the overall numbers in March, 2019 were: 7,187 sales averaging $788,335. New Listings that month totalled 13,996 and Total Active Listings stood at 15,576. Homes took 21 days to sell [DoM] on average.
If you’re interested in “Bungalow-specific” statistics broken down by Toronto, GTA, and South-Central Ontario Region, you can view those here.
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