March, 2022: Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: Winds of change, or…?

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By: theBB.group

March, 2022: Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: Winds of change, or…?

Tags: TORONTO, GTA, HOME SALES, BUNGALOW, HOUSING MARKET, 1 STOREY, Empty Nester

Greater Toronto, Ontario - Friday April 5, 2022 – Toronto Region Real Estate Board president Kevin Crigger released the residential MLS® sales figures for March, 2022 this morning via the board’s monthlyChart - 2022-03 Toronto & GTA Home Sales & Average Price by Major Home Type “MarketWatch” publication showing that was the 3rd best March on record for the Toronto & GTA home market. It also marked the second-best first quarter of a year on record. That said, a key phrase in the report is this: “...average selling price dipped slightly…” versus February. That’s very unusual as March is typically the month in which the Spring Market kicks into full gear. And in spite of the near-record performances noted above, sales volume was still down thirty percent versus last March at 10,995 units versus 15,628 [adjusted]. All figures quoted herein are year-over-year comparisons unless otherwise noted. Quoting “YoY” generally works best due to the seasonality of the market.

Overall - meaning all home types and all of TRREB’s geographical market area - the average sale price was $1,299,894, up 18.5% which equates to a cool couple of hundred thousand dollars… income tax free in most instances. 

Inventory


Chart - 2022-03 Toronto & GTA Home Sales YoY SummaryTotal Active Listings stood at 10,167 as of month-end, down slightly at -4.1% compared to - as we all know - a very, very tight inventory situation last Spring. Still - that’s not much of a change from last year, and with sales significantly lower it’s apparent that multiple offer scenarios have become much less the norm than they were. Whether that marks a turn in the market with a new trend taking shape obviously only time will tell but with interest rates markedly higher - which means buying power is that much lower - it’s certainly plausible.

“Forward Inventory” gives a snapshot of the inventory situation at any given point in time. For March - calculated as Total Active Listings divided by the month’s sales volume - we came in at about four weeks which implies that that’s how long it would take to sell all the homes presently on the market at the currentChart - 2022-03 Toronto & GTA Home Sales Historic Annual & Monthly Stats rate of sales. We had less than three weeks of inventory 12 months ago… and the pace of sales appears to be slowing… and the competition for those sales in terms of “bid volume”... Hmmm…

The Nitty Gritty


Sales of Detached homes in Metro Toronto fell 23.9% to 1,098 averaging a selling price of $1,920,018, a more modest - relatively speaking - rise of 9.5%. The balance of the GTA saw 3,786 sales of Detached homes, down 38%, averaging $1,632,832, up 23.6%.

Condo Apartment sales totalled 2,141 in Toronto, down 18.3%, averaging $831,351, up 17.4%. In “The 905” there were 1,013 sales in March, down 16.3%, averaging $760,410, up 25.2%.

Quotable…


TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer:
“Competition between home buyers in the GTA remains very strong in most neighbourhoods and market segments. However, we did experience more balance in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year. If this trend continues, it is possible that the pace of price growth could moderate as we move through the year.”

TRREB President Kevin Crigger:
“Now is the time for governments to govern and focus on measures that are proven to increase housing supply. The GTA population will experience rapid growth in the coming years as our region’s economic strength and diversity continues to attract people from around the world. In order to sustain this growth, we need adequate housing supply and choice. This needs to be the focus of policymakers rather than short-term and ineffective measures to artificially suppress demand. Evidence-based decision-making should inform government policies, and we encourage representatives at all levels of government to think big and act decisively to improve needed housing supply in a significant way.”

We [still] beg to differ: high prices combined with rising interest rates - assuming they continue to rise [which appears very likely given that the bond market ultimately determines interest rates and not the central banks] will cool the market… not government policy. Besides, by the time governments act they’re often too late and don’t appear to take into account the law of unintended consequences! See the ?? chart ?? below for a quick visual of what interest rates in that five-year government of Canada bond market have been up to... literally and figuratively... of late.

Homes sold “16.7% faster” this March at 8 versus 10 days on market… still wildly quick by historical standards.

Bye the way… in case you’re wondering, here’s a quick explanation of the difference between “LDOM” versus “PDOM” quoted in the charts: Listing Days on Market is the average number of days a property takes to sell under the current listing contract. Property Days on Market represents the number of days the property was on market regardless of whether the property was listed more than once by the same 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 the days on the market where a seller relists with a different broker.

As always, thank-you for stopping by! Drop a line anytime with questions, comments…

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Chart - 2022-03 Toronto & GTA Home Sales Canada 5yr Bond Yield

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