Consumer Confidence and Low Interest Rates Drive Up Homes Sales in GTA

TORONTO, April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For the third straight month of 2021, record home sales continued in March across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with buyers taking advantage of favourable borrowing costs and continued improvement in many sectors of the economy.

GTA REALTORS® reported 15,652 sales in March 2021 – close to double that of March 2020. While sales were strong, it is important to remember that for the second half of March 2021, we are comparing against the initial impact of COVID-19 in the second half of March 2020 when sales activity dropped off dramatically. With this in mind, it is important to consider annual sales growth for the pre-COVID period (March 1 to 14, 2020) and the COVID period (March 15 to 31, 2020):

  • There were 6,504 sales reported during the first 14 days of March 2021 – up 41 per cent compared to the pre-COVID period in March 2020.
  • There were 9,148 sales reported between March 15 and March 31, 2021, an increase of 174 per cent compared to the COVID period of March 2020. This is a stark reminder of the initial impact COVID-19 had on the housing market and overall economy a year ago.

“Confidence in economic recovery coupled with low borrowing costs supported a record pace of home sales last month. While the robust market activity is indicative of widespread consumer optimism, it is also shedding light on the sustained lack of inventory in the GTA housing market, with implications for affordability,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel.

For March 2021 as a whole, new listings were up 57 per cent year-over-year to 22,709. While representing a strong year-over-year increase, the annual growth rate for new listings was well-below that of sales.

“With sales growth outstripping listings growth by a large margin, including in the condo market segment, competition between buyers in some market segments and the potential for double-digit price growth could continue without a meaningful increase in the supply of homes available for sale. This will become more apparent as population growth resumes over the next year,” stressed TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for March 2021 was up by 16.5 per cent compared to March 2020. The average selling price at $1,097,565 was up by 21.6 per cent over the same period. Following the recent trend, low-rise home sales in regions surrounding the City of Toronto drove price growth.

“The current state of the market has reinvigorated discussions about potential demand-side policy interventions. Policies focussed on demand, such as a capital gains tax on primary residences, can have a short-term impact, but can also be fraught with unintended consequences like further stifling the supply of listings. The federal minister responsible for the housing portfolio has said his government will not entertain such a policy option, which is the right decision. We have been saying for too long now that policymakers must focus on the long-term goal of increasing housing supply in order to accommodate current and future demand,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

Summary of TRREB MLS® System Sales and Average Price March 1–31, 2021
  2021 2020
  Sales Average Price New
Listings
Sales Average Price New
Listings
City of Toronto (“416”) 5,130 1,083,322 7,206 2,753 989,175 4,902
Rest of GTA (“905”) 10,522 1,104,509 15,503 5,192 856,981 9,532
GTA 15,652 1,097,565 22,709 7,945 902,787 14,434
TRREB MLS® System Sales & Average Price by Home Type March 1–31, 2021
  Sales Average Price
  416 905 Total 416 905 Total
             
Detached 1,450 6,127 7,577 1,750,518 1,320,570 1,402,849
Yr./Yr. % Change 75.1% 111.6% 103.5% 19.2% 31.4% 26.6%
Semi-Detached 471 1,008 1,479 1,288,005 932,215 1,045,519
Yr./Yr. % Change 106.6% 95.0% 98.5% 11.5% 20.6% 17.5%
Townhouse 555 2,076 2,631 960,894 846,401 870,553
Yr./Yr. % Change 90.7% 90.5% 90.5% 15.0% 22.6% 20.7%
Condo Apartment 2,614 1,207 3,821 707,835 607,220 676,052
Yr./Yr. % Change 87.9% 99.2% 91.3% -0.7% 13.5% 2.6%
 March 2021 Year-Over-Year Per Cent Change in the MLS® HPI
  Composite
(All Types)
Single-Family
Detached
Single-Family
Attached
Townhouse Apartment
TRREB Total 16.54% 23.58% 21.91% 16.51% 2.09%
Halton Region 22.21% 25.33% 25.60% 22.62% 12.13%
Peel Region 16.77% 20.64% 21.25% 15.84% 4.92%
City of Toronto 7.45% 17.84% 15.74% 9.71% 0.13%
York Region 19.82% 23.49% 22.48% 14.75% 6.00%
Durham Region 32.83% 33.02% 34.59% 33.05% 20.04%
Orangeville 32.28% 31.63% 34.43%
South Simcoe County1 35.57% 34.62% 42.72%
Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board
1South Simcoe includes Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth
Year-to-Date Summary of TRREB MLS® System Sales and Average Price March 2021
  2021 2020
  Sales Average Price New
Listings
Sales Average Price New
Listings
City of Toronto (“416”) 11,522 1,004,720 15,467 6,803 963,500 11,057
Rest of GTA (“905”) 21,981 1,079,199 31,824 12,880 851,925 21,843
GTA 33,503 1,053,585 47,291 19,683 890,488 32,900
YTD TRREB MLS® System Sales & Average Price by Home Type March 2021
  Sales Average Price
  416 905 Total 416 905 Total
             
Detached 2,882 12,376 15,258 1,699,125 1,311,599 1,384,797
Yr./Yr. % Change 49.0% 69.9% 65.5% 16.9% 31.3% 26.5%
Semi-Detached 928 2,031 2,959 1,285,010 926,920 1,039,224
Yr./Yr. % Change 87.5% 65.1% 71.5% 12.2% 23.6% 20.4%
Townhouse 1,155 4,436 5,591 913,915 837,140 853,001
Yr./Yr. % Change 65.9% 71.0% 69.9% 10.7% 21.4% 18.8%
Condo Apartment 6,475 2,923 9,398 675,844 577,380 645,219
Yr./Yr. % Change 78.0% 84.0% 79.8% -4.6% 8.6% -1.4%

Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board

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Genevieve Grant, Public Affairs Specialist [email protected]   416-443-8159

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