My Two Cents
Is the market on fire? Yes, it surely is but it's quite a bit exaggerated by 2020 market frozen numbers. Mid-march of 2020 was the first lockdown and nobody knew much about COVID-19 and it's impact yet, and the market was frozen and almost grinded to a halt.
March 2021 total sales transactions were over 15,000. March 2017, before the government meddled with the market with new policies to cool down the market, the total sales transactions were around 12,000. That's a year-to-year comparison of 25% change. It will be fair to say that we are in a new sales transaction territory since the last market boom. We'll have to see what the government will do on April 19, 2021 when the Federal government will possibly have new policies or restrictions to cool the market.
In the upcoming months, the year-to-year sales percentage change will be even more exaggerated as April, May, and June of 2020 took a dive in sales because of the 1st lockdown and pandemic uncertainty. Let's see how the media will hype this up!
Just the Facts
On April 6, 2021 TRREB released March 2021 sales stats, 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 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 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 15th and March 31st 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.
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.
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.