First National Financial LP

Residential Market Commentary - Spring market comes to life

  • First National Financial LP

The spring real estate market is not exactly busting out all over, but there are some green shoots as far as realtors are concerned.  Both prices and sales were up modestly across the country in March, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

CREA reports the national average home price rose about 1.0% in March and is now a little more than $686,000. That's up from about $662,000 in February, and $612,000 in January.  Most of that increase is the result of activities in the busy and expensive Toronto and Vancouver markets.  When the GTA and GVA are taken out of the calculation the national average price drops by about $136,000 to $550,000.

Using CREA’s preferred pricing measure, The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), prices edged up 0.2% in March, compared to February.  On a year-over-year basis prices are down 15.5%.

Sales rose 1.4% in March compared to February, but are down 34.4% compared to March of 2022.

CREA continues to point out that there is a shortage of homes for sale, even as demand increases.  New listings dipped another 5.8% in March, compared to a month earlier and new listings are now sitting at 20-year lows.   The sales-to-new listings ratio jumped up to 63.5%.  The long-term average for the measure is 55.1%.

CREA expects stabilizing home prices, and the Bank of Canada’s pause on interest rate hikes, should bring more buyers into the market.