Home / Ontario Real Estate / Ontario Real Estate Market Update: March 2021

Ontario Real Estate Market Update: March 2021

April 19, 2021

The Ontario real estate market shattered records this March as it launched into spring, undaunted by having to share the month with the arrival of the third wave.

The Ontario Real Estate Board (OREB) reports that sales were up 84% from year-ago levels;1 however, gauging the growth of buyer demand by that figure is difficult given that halfway through last March, sales activity lurched to a halt as we entered the first-wave lockdown. A better indicator is the fact that the 32,748 sales posted in March were the highest of any month in history.

Record-breaking sales, of course, wouldn’t have been possible without a much-needed boost to supply, and after months of receding inventory levels, it seems more homeowners are finally ready to cash in on prime selling conditions. New listings totalled 44,467 for an increase of 49% compared to March of last year, which was also the largest number for March in history.

Yet, despite the influx of listings, inventory continues to run painfully low (for buyers, at least). At just 20,733 available homes province wide at the close of March, active listings were down 33% year over year and were the lowest they’ve been in more than three decades. And at the current rate of sales, months of inventory (that is, how long it would take to sell all available homes) came in at just 0.6 months – down from 1.7 months a year ago and well below the 2.5-month average for this time of year.

Little wonder, then, that as buyers jockeyed for property, prices have gone up. Across Ontario, the average selling price rose 30% year over year to $890,035, while the dollar volume of all home sales in March was $29.1 billion – more than double the dollar volume from the same month last year and a new record for any month in history.

In seller’s markets such as these, the guidance of experienced REALTORS® is an invaluable asset for both buyers and sellers. Speak to a local Purplebricks REALTOR® to learn about the latest trends in your market and discover how we can help you reach your real estate goals.

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Toronto
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map of Ontario with purple 'pins' indicating real estate listings

Toronto

The seller’s market is in full bloom! Though buyers welcomed a wave of new listings in March, strong sales have kept supply running low. As a result, sales are happening faster and prices continue their skyward climb!

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 5,130 residential sales in the City of Toronto in March,2 representing an 85% increase over the same month last year3 and a 37% increase over February.4 Though demand and sales are undoubtedly strong, it should be noted that the large year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

After months of low supply levels, new listings were encouragingly robust at 7,206, up 47% year over year and 53% month over month. This brought the sales-to-new-listings ratio down slightly from 79% in February to 71% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 71 homes sold), which is still high compared to 57% a year ago. By the end of March, there were 3,960 available homes on the market – 18% more than the previous month – but because the rate of sales has picked up, months of inventory (that is, how many months it would take to sell all available homes) fell from 1.9 in February to 1.8. Likewise, the average time to sell a home has fallen from 20 days a month ago to 12, which is on par with March 2020.

Demand for single-family/detached homes continues to drive prices higher: taking 28% of all residential sales, the average selling price in this category came in at $1,750,518 for a gain of 19% year over year and 4% month over month. Condo apartments took 51% of sales with an average price of $707,835, down 1% year over year and up 5% month over month. Townhouse sales nearly doubled since February at 184 transactions, with the average price of $1,212,049 rising 10% year over year and 5% month over month. Semi-detached was the only category to post a decrease in the average selling price since February: at $1,288,005, it was up 12% from last March but down 3% from a month ago.

The average selling price for all home types in the city is $1,083,322, up 10% year over year and 9% month over month.

Peel 

Flora and fauna aren’t the only things growing this spring – so are home prices and sales! Buyers welcomed a wave of new listings in March, but intense demand is keeping sales fast and prices high.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 3,185 residential sales in Peel this March,5 representing an increase of 99% year over year.6 While sales nearly doubling in one year’s time indicates growing demand, it should be noted that the large year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

Still, buyers are snapping up most of what’s becoming available: sales were up 40% from February,7 while new listings – which came in at 4,699 – were up 43%. As such, the sales-to-new-listings ratio of 68% is almost unchanged from February’s 69% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 68 homes sold), whereas March 2020 saw a more modest ratio of 53%. By the end of the month, there were 1,923 available homes on the market – 25% more than the month prior and 2% more than a year ago – but because the rate of sales picked up, months of inventory fell from 1.2 in February and 1.5 last March to 1.1 (months of inventory measure how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales). Likewise, the average time to sell a home has slipped from 10 days last month and 10 days last year to just eight days.

Detached/single-family homes continue to be the main driver of sales: with 48% of all residential transactions, the average selling price in this category grew 29% year over year and 3% month over month to $1,368,268. Condo apartments took 15% of sales, the average price growing 7% year over year and 4% month over month to $567,803. Semi-detached homes represented 17% of sales, with the average price rising 19% year over year and up less than one percent from February at $937,803. Townhouses took 9% of sales, the average price rising 20% and 1% over the same periods to $875,467. For all home types, the average selling price saw a gain of 26% over last March and 4% over February at $1,061,015.

Brampton accounted for 50% of the region’s residential sales in March, with the average selling price for all home types up 27% year over year and 1% month over month to $1,026,255.

Durham 

Spring brought a flurry of activity to the Durham seller’s market this March. A shower of new listings helped sales numbers grow, and eager sellers watched as the average selling price topped $900,000!

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 2,077 residential sales in March,8 representing an increase of 89% year over year9 and 50% month over month.10 Though demand and sales are undoubtedly strong, it should be noted that the large year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

After a winter of low inventory, the market welcomed 2,838 new listings for an increase of 55% year over year and 44% month over month. Strong sales saw the sales-to-new-listings ratio creep upward from 70% in February to 73% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 73 homes sold), which is a significant jump from the 60% ratio in March 2020. Despite having 918 available homes at month’s end – 14% more than the month prior – the average days on market and months of inventory are unchanged from February at seven days and 0.8 months, respectively. Though the market may not have changed much on a month-over-month basis, last March saw an average of 13 days on market and 1.8 months of inventory, meaning current markets are operating at almost twice the speed.

Demand for detached/single-family homes continues to rule the day: at 69% of all residential sales, the average selling price in this category rose a hearty 38% year over year but dropped by less than 1% from February to $989,228. Condo apartments took only 4% of residential sales, the average price rising 22% year over year and 24% month over month to $482,020. Semi-detached homes represented 6% of sales with the average price up 29% year over year and down 7% month over month at $738,282. Townhouses saw 12% of sales with the average price up 27% and down 2% over the same periods at $768,657. For all home types, the average selling price rose 37% year over year and 1% month over month to $901,322.

Halton

It was sunny days for Halton sellers this March! A burst of new listings gave way to a rise in sales, but with inventory still running low, prices are still climbing.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 1,647 residential sales in March,11 representing an increase of 101% year over year12 and 46% month over month.13 While these stunning figures mean sales more than doubled from the same month last year, it should be noted that sales plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

After months of new listings lagging sales, buyers welcomed 2,248 homes to the market for an increase of 54% year over year and 44% month over month. However, the sales-to-new-listings ratio crept up from 72% in February to 73% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 73 homes sold), which indicates that demand is growing. In fact, despite available homes numbering 862 at the close of March – 18% more than the month prior – strong sales nudged months of inventory down from 1.2 months in February to 1.1 months, well below the 1.9 months from a year ago. Days on market remain unchanged from February at a brisk 10, a drop of three days compared to March 2020.

Demand for detached/single-family homes continues to drive sales: at 56% of all residential transactions, the average selling price for this home type rose 35% year over year and 1% month over month to $1,551,804. Condos took 11% of sales, with the average selling price up 32% year over year and an encouraging 20% month over month to $706,959. Semi-detached homes saw 6% of sales with the average price rising 21% year over year and remaining virtually unchanged from February at $981,546. Townhouses represented 18% of sales with the average price up 30% and 2% over the same periods to $980,378. For all home types, the average selling price climbed 33% year over year and 3% month over month to $1,245,062.

York 

York is seeing an accelerating market as spring gets underway! A flood of new listings was counterbalanced by an increase in sales, and it’s still a seller’s market as prices continue to climb.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 2,911 residential sales in March,14 representing an increase of 108% year over year15 and 44% month over month.16 Certainly, sales at more than twice last year’s number is a clear indicator of growing demand, but it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

Still, buyers are making quick work of new listings. Despite the 4,734 homes added to the market – an increase of 76% year over year and 59% month over month – the average days on market fell from 16 days both last year and last month to just 10, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales) edged down from 1.8 months in February to 1.7 months – well below the 2.8 months in March 2020. Nevertheless, at the close of March, there were 2,516 available homes on the market – 28% more than in February and 6% more than in March 2020 – bringing the sales-to-new-listings ratio down from 68% last month to 61%. By comparison, last March saw a much more comfortable ratio of 52%.

Buyers this spring continued to show a strong preference for detached/single-family homes: at 59% of all residential transactions, the average selling price for this home type rose 25% year over year and 2% month over month to $1,544,450. Condos saw 15% of sales, with the average selling price up 7% year over year and 5% month over month to $633,146. Semi-detached homes took 7% of sales, with the average price rising 20% year over year and 1% month over month to $1,056,933. Townhouses represented 13% of sales, with the average price up 19% and virtually unchanged month over month at $1,031,371. For all home types, the average selling price increased 22% year over year and 5% month over month at $1,265,481.

Ottawa 

Ottawa’s seller’s market is in full bloom! A surge in new listings was no match for strong buyer demand, and supply levels continue to run low. As a result, prices keep growing!

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports 2,285 residential properties sold in March,17 representing an increase of 51% year over year and a stunning 64% month over month.18 While the 51% increase over last year is impressive, it should be noted that sales plummeted mid-way through March 2020, which could skew the comparison; nevertheless, this month’s sales were well above the five-year March average of 1,688.

OREB President Debra Wright explains that the unseasonably warm weather contributed to strong sales, along with 2,798 new listings added to the market. “Ongoing pent-up buyer demand meant that most of the properties that came on the market in March were quickly acquired,” she notes. The sales-to-new-listings ratio, which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings, stands as proof at a tight 82%.

With ongoing supply challenges, buyers are compelled to make competitive offers that are pushing prices higher. According to Wright, “almost 80% of the resales in the Ottawa area sold for more than the asking price compared to 60% at this time last year.” However, she goes on to say that “these accelerated price growths are purely a result of long-term inventory shortage” and are not an indication that the market is “out of control.”

The average selling price for residential-class homes (including detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, and duplexes) grew 35% year over year and 6% month over month to $758,802, while for condos, it rose 18% and 7% over the same periods to $437,041. The average selling price for all home types went up 31% from last March and 6% from February, coming in at $677,129.

Hamilton 

Spring came in with a fury in the Hamilton-Burlington area! With near-record-breaking sales activity made possible by a wave of new listings, prices are still rising in this seller’s market.

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports 2,074 sales across the region in March,19 representing an increase of 73% year over year and 63% month over month.20 While there’s no denying the strong sales reflect high buyer demand, it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is a partial reflection of the fact that sales plummeted mid-way through March 2020 as a result of COVID lockdowns.

Buyers welcomed 2,697 new listings to the market this month – 53% more than were added a year ago and 65% more than last month. Though the sales-to-new-listings ratio barely budged from 78% in February to 77% (meaning that for every 100 homes listed in March, 77 homes sold), the influx of supply was large enough that by month’s end, there were 27% more available homes than at the end of February (still 39% less than last March). As RAHB President Donna Bacher explains, “With the spring housing market upon us and the vaccine rollout ramping up, it appears more homeowners are feeling comfortable listing their homes.”

With an uptick in supply across the region, month-over-month prices rose at a more modest rate than previously seen, but year-over-year price growth remains robust. For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price rose 34% year over year and 2% month over month to $987,030. For apartment-style properties, the average selling price grew 16% year over year and 1% month over month to $519,586. For townhomes, which saw an 80% increase in month-over-month sales (the largest increase of the three home types), the average selling price rose 29% and 1% over the same periods to $734,970. For all home types, the average selling price increased 32% compared to last March and 3% compared to February at $872,368.

The Hamilton region comprises an array of cities with varying home prices and market trends. In Niagara North, the average selling price for all residential property types came in at $856,086, up 42% year over year and 14% month over month. In Haldimand County, the average selling price was $692,873, up 40% year over year and 10% month over month. In Burlington, the average selling price was $1,088,670, up 30% year over year and 2% month over month. In Hamilton, the average was $804,223, up 32% year over year and 5% month over month.

Niagara

March went out like a lion in the Niagara region! A flood of new listings was met by strong buyer demand, leading to quicker sales and rising prices in this seller’s market.

The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports 1,081 residential sales in March,21 representing an increase of 103% year over year and 55% month over month. While sales at more than twice last year’s number is a clear indicator of growing demand, it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

Buyers welcomed 1,471 new listings to the market – an increase of 61% year over year and an encouraging 77% month over month. With boosted supply, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which measures how many homes are sold per 100 new listings) eased down from a tight 84% last month to a less-tight 73%. Nevertheless, the speed of sales is picking up: average days on market fell from 38 days last March and 20 days in February to 16 days.

Terri McCallum, NAR President, suggests that strong sales could be the result of an increased pool of buyers: “We are seeing a continued influx of buyers who are able to work remotely and families looking to move from attached units to detached properties coming to Niagara. Although supply has also increased, demand has outpaced it.”

Niagara’s proximity to the Greater Toronto Area and comparatively low prices could be the reason for the attraction. Across the region, the benchmark residential price came in at $620,700, up 37% year over year and 7% month over month.

The Niagara region comprises several cities with varying activity and benchmark prices. St. Catharines saw 297 sales with the benchmark price rising 40% year over year and 7% month over month to $601,100. Niagara Falls saw 215 sales with the benchmark price rising 38% year over year and 8% month over month to $568,400. Welland saw 136 sales with the benchmark price rising 40% year over year and 8% month over month to $502,300. Fort Erie saw 117 sales with the benchmark price rising 34% year over year and 7% month over month to $474,500.

Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener-Waterloo welcomed in spring by smashing records this March! Sales and new listings were the highest they’ve ever been in any month in the board’s history, while strong demand is keeping supply levels low and prices high.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) reports 993 residential sales in March,22 zooming past the previous 10-year average of 552 for the month. It’s also an increase of 73% year over year and 66% month over month.23 While the region is undoubtedly the locus of intense buyer demand, it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

“This is the first time we’ve sold more than 900 homes in a single month,” notes Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “The second highest number of sales occurred in May 2017 when there were 816 sales through our MLS® System.”

Facilitating sales were 1,359 new listings added to the market – an increase of 56% from a year ago and 84% from February that broke the previous record of 1,271, also set in May 2017. The influx of supply helped ease the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which measures how many homes are sold per 100 new listings) down from a tight 81% last month to a still-tight 73%, leaving a much-needed surplus of 434 available homes at month’s end – 47% more than in February. However, active listings were still 24% below last year’s number and 64% below the previous 10-year average, and the speed of sales is picking up: average days on market fell from 16 days last March and 10 days in February to just eight days, while the previous 10-year average for March was 21 days.   

With inventory showing hints of filling out, month-over-month price gains are somewhat more modest, though year-over-year gains continue to impress. For detached homes, which accounted for 60% of residential sales, the benchmark price rose 34% year over year and 4% month over month to $817,000; for condos, it rose 15% compared to last March and 5% compared to February to $358,700; while for townhomes, it rose 38% and 5% over the same periods to $554,900. For all home types, the benchmark price went up 33% from a year ago and 4% from last month to $738,200.

Guelph

The Guelph real estate market made a smashing spring debut in March, setting records for sales and new listings. Despite inventory growing to levels not seen for the last six months, the seller’s market ensues!

The Guelph and District Association of REALTORS® (GDAR) reports 727 residential sales,24 the most for any month in the association’s history. It’s also an increase of 77% year over year and 50% month over month.25 While it’s clear that buyer demand is high, it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

New listings were also record breaking: at 863, this was the most homes ever added to the market in the month of March, representing an increase of 43% from a year ago and 39% from February. While the influx of supply left inventory 5% higher than in February at 307 active listings, that number is down 39% from last year and is the lowest level recorded for the month of March in over three decades. Energetic sales also brought the sales-to-new-listings ratio up from 78% last month to a tight 84%, meaning that for every 100 new listings in March, 84 homes sold. Accordingly, months of inventory came in at 0.4 months (down from 0.6 months in February and 1.2 months a year ago), meaning it would take less than two weeks to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales. The long-run average for this time of year is 1.6 months.

Sabrina Essery, GDAR President, remarks, “We expect that as vaccines become more widely available over the coming months, we will start to see sellers emerge from the current lockdowns and look to enter the market, further shoring up available inventory.”

For now, limited supply is keeping buyers competitive and pushing prices higher. In March, the benchmark price for detached homes rose 30% year over year and 5% month over month to $800,200; for condos, it was up 21% year over year and 4% month over month at $434,100; while for townhomes, it increased 34% and 5% over the same periods to $573,200. For all home types, the benchmark price saw a gain of 30% compared to a year ago and 5% compared to last month at $770,500.

London

Spring got off to a great start in the London and St. Thomas region with the seventh consecutive month of record home sales! Though buyers welcomed a wave of new listings, the seller’s market has grown tighter as inventory continues to shrink.

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reports 1,296 homes sold across the region,26 a record for the month of March27 and an increase of 57% both year over year and month over month.28 As in February, sales in March were largely dependent on the number of new listings coming onto market: at 1,540, they jumped 56% compared to the month prior (nearly matching the growth in sales) and 25% compared to a year ago. Accordingly, the sales-to-new-listings ratio was a tight 84%, meaning that for every 100 homes added to the market, 84 homes sold.

Despite the influx of new supply, the average time to sell is unchanged from last month and last year at seven days, though inventory levels – measured by how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales – have dropped dramatically from 1.7 months last March and 0.6 months in February to 0.4 months (less than two weeks). At month’s end, there were only 580 available homes for sale – 59% fewer than 12 months ago.

With strong demand and low supply, selling prices in March continued to rise. The average selling price for all home types came in at $634,799, a 43% gain compared to a year ago and a 3% climb from February. Meanwhile, prices for the various categories rose by similar margins: the average selling price of a detached home was $697,440, up 44% year over year and 2% month over month; for townhouses, it was $508,808, up 39% and 3% over the same periods; for condo apartments, it was $389,259, up an encouraging 32% from last March and 5% from February.

Windsor

The seller’s market in Windsor got even hotter for the start of spring! Though buyers welcomed a wave of new listings, a high volume of sales kept supply levels low. As a result, prices continue to climb!

The Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® reports 700 home sales in March, representing an increase of 39% compared to March 2020 and a stunning leap of 86% compared to February.29 After months of shrinking inventory, strong sales were made possible by 893 new listings added to the market – up 56% from a month ago and 12% from the same month last year.

The boost in supply helped ease the sales-to-new-listings ratio down slightly from 84% last month to 78%, but the relief was short-lived: by month’s end, available homes totalled 421 – just 29 more homes (7%) than in February and less than half (45%) of the 934 active listings that closed out March 2020.30

Intense demand for home ownership in the last year continues to send prices soaring: the average selling price for all home types rose an impressive 49% year over year and 11% month over month to $531,805.

Brantford

The seller’s market in Brantford continued to fire on all cylinders in March with record sales! Despite an influx of new listings, inventory levels are well below last year’s levels while prices are on the rise.

The Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) reports 268 residential properties sold,31 setting a new record for the month of March and representing an increase of 53% year over year and 35% month over month.32

Making strong sales possible were 333 new listings added to the market, 31% more than in the same month last year and 34% more than in February, making it the highest number of new listings in the month of March in over twenty years.

According to Ray Petro, President of BRREA, the surge in new listings were “a welcome respite from the recent lows,” but “overall inventory is still hovering only marginally higher than the all-time lowest level on record.” At month’s end, the inventory of available homes numbered 114, which was 11% higher than in February but a whopping 59% below last March. Months of inventory also showed the effects of strong sales, falling from 1.6 months last year and 0.5 months in February to 0.4 months, meaning it would take less than two weeks to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales. The long-run average for this time of year is 2.1 months.

In this highly competitive market, prices continue to rise. In March, the benchmark price for detached homes rose 40% year over year and 6% month over month to $621,500; for condos, it was down 3% year over year and down 9% month over month at $256,700; for townhomes, it increased 40% and 11% over the same periods to $426,300. For all home types, the benchmark price saw a gain of 38% compared to a year ago and 6% compared to last month at $594,900.

Barrie & Simcoe County

The Barrie and Simcoe County real estate market made a stunning spring debut in March, setting records for sales and new listings. Despite the boost to supply, inventory levels are at a 25-year low and prices are at an all-time high!

The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. (BDAR) reports 883 homes sold in Barrie and the surrounding Simcoe County,33 the most for any month in the association’s history. It’s also an increase of 96% year over year and 55% month over month.34 In the city of Barrie, residential sales totalled 503, up a stunning 102% year over year and 52% month over month, while in surrounding Simcoe County, there were 380 sales for an increase of 88% and 59% over the same periods. Though it’s clear that buyer demand is high, it should be noted that year-over-year sales increases are partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

New listings were also record breaking: at 1,119, this was the most homes ever added to the market in the month of March, representing an increase of 38% from a year ago and 33% from February. While the influx of supply left inventory 9% higher than in February at 426 active listings, that number is down 55% from last year. Robust sales also brought the sales-to-new-listings ratio up from 68% last month to a tighter 79%, meaning that for every 100 new listings in March, 79 homes sold. Accordingly, months of inventory came in at 0.5 months (down from 0.7 months in February and 2.1 months a year ago), meaning it would take two weeks to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales. The long-run average for this time of year is 2.4 months.

“We are cautiously optimistic that active listings have bottomed out,” says Chantal Godard, BDAR President. “We expect that as vaccines start to rollout widely and people start to emerge from the current lockdowns, we will see a further uptick in the number of new listings.”

For now, limited supply is keeping buyers competitive and putting upward pressure on prices. In March, the benchmark price for detached homes across the region rose 37% year over year and 4% month over month to $748,700; for condos, it was up 19% year over year and 5% month over month to $422,000; while for townhomes, it increased 40% and 6% over the same periods to $528,900. For all home types, the benchmark price saw a gain of 36% compared to a year ago and 4% compared to last month at $713,500.

Sarnia-Lambton

A wave of new listings helped launch sales to a new record this month, but with inventory levels still far beneath typical levels, sellers are smiling as prices continue to rise! 

The Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board (SLREB) reports 181 homes sold,35 a new sales record for the month of March and an increase of 34% year over year.

New listings numbered 201 for a 4% increase over March 2020, but with an extremely tight sales-to-new-listings ratio of 90% (meaning that for every 100 homes added to the market, 90 homes sold), active listings are 50% below last year’s level at 112 – the lowest they’ve been in the month of March in more than 30 years. At the current rate of sales, months of inventory (that is, how long it would take to sell all available homes) came in at just 0.6 months – down from 1.7 months a year ago and well below the 2.5-month average for this time of year.

“Overall inventory is still hovering only slightly above the lowest level in history,” notes Rob Longo, President of SLREB. “This factor combined with continued strong demand has kept market conditions extremely tight.” However, he goes on to say, “as vaccinations rollout widely over the next few months, we expect to see some pent-up supply come online from sellers that have been hunkered down riding out the pandemic for the last year.”

In the meantime, competition among buyers is putting upward pressure on prices. In March, the average selling price for all home types rose 34% year over year to $492,620.

Grey County

Grey County welcomed the spring market with record-breaking sales. Despite new listings climbing, it’s still a seller’s market as home prices rise and active listings remain low!

The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS) reports 337 homes sold in the region,36 representing an increase of 54% year over year and 51% month over month37 and setting a new sales record for the month of March. Strong sales were made possible by a boost to new listings: at 431, there were 21% more homes added to the market than in March 2020 and 66% more than last month.

Though new listings outpaced sales, supply continues to fall from historical levels and sales are speeding up. The average time to sell a home fell from 25 days a year ago and remained consistent with the previous month at 11 days. At month’s end, active listings were the lowest they’ve been in the month of March in more than three decades, dropping 49% year over year and rising 23% month over month to 431. Inventory fell from 3.3 months last year and 1.3 months in February to 1.1 months, which is well below the long-run average of 6.1 months for this time of year. Months of inventory measure how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales.

As buyer demand remains strong, prices continue to rise. For all home types, the average selling price in March rose 45% year over year and 5% month over month to $646,488. Meanwhile, the average selling price for detached homes grew 49% year over year and 8% month over month to $687,438, and for townhouses, it rose 65% and 19% over the same periods to $539,211. For condo apartments, the average price rose 18% year over year and 46% month over month to $415,917.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas

It was another record-breaking month in the Peterborough region with the highest number of homes sold for the month of March. A wave of new listings was welcomed by eager buyers, but the market still favours sellers as home price continue to climb!

The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS® Inc. (PKAR) reports the highest number of homes sold for the month of March at 314 residential sales,38 representing an increase of 93% year over year and 83% month over month.39 While it’s clear that buyer demand is high, it should be noted that the year-over-year increase is partially a reflection of sales having plummeted in the second half of March 2020 due to COVID lockdowns.

Supporting the growing sales were 411 new listings, which were up 42% from a year ago and an impressive 80% from February, making it the largest number of homes added to a March market in five years. This whopping stat was also true for February.

Despite growth in sales and new listings being almost evenly matched, the market is intensifying as inventory levels edge lower. Active listings at month’s end numbered 194, which was up 40% from last month but down 52% from a year ago – for context, the volume of new listings and sales are up 42% and 93%, respectively, above last February’s levels, but the number of active listings has dropped by over 50%. Accordingly, inventory has fallen from 2.5 months last March and 0.8 months in February to 0.6 months, well below the long-run average of 3.5 months for this time of year. Months of inventory measure how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales.

“This influx of new listings helped to shore up overall inventory. Although, this helped to marginally ease market conditions, the seemingly endless pool of buyers pushed the average price to yet another all-time high. Surpassing the 700K mark for the first time,” notes Jon Maxwell, President of PKAR. For March, the average selling price for all home types rose 59% year over year and 12% month over month to a record $744,760.

Huron and Perth Counties

Huron and Perth homeowners are enjoying the seller’s market! Year-over-year sales and new listings are up substantially, while inventory continues to shrink which means homes are selling fast and for top dollar!

For March, the Huron Perth Association of REALTORS® (HPAR) reports 248 residential home sales,40 representing an increase of 73% year over year and 69% month over month.41 New listings increased a substantial 89% month over month to 291 new listings, which were up 34% year over year as well. With new listings outpacing homes sold, the sales-to-new-listings ratio dropped from a stiff 95% last month to a still tight 85%, meaning for every 100 homes added to the market, 85 were sold.

Supply levels continue to be taxed by the strength of buyer demand. Active listings at month’s end numbered 138, which was up 19% from last month but down 59% from a year ago. Accordingly, inventory has fallen from 2.4 months last March and 0.8 months in February to just 0.6 months, well below the long-run average of 4.6 months for this time of year. Months of inventory measure how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales.

“Although, the new infusion of listings was a welcome reprieve from recent lows, overall inventory is still hovering only slightly above the lowest level in history,” says Kathy Dawson, President of HPAR. “As a result, market conditions remain incredibly tight maintaining the upward price pressure we have seen in recent months."

Indeed, for March, the benchmark price for all home types rose 35% year over year and 5% month over month to $483,000. Meanwhile, for detached homes, the benchmark price rose 35% year over year and 5% month over month to $483,800 while for condo apartments, it rose 10% and 7% over the same periods to $471,800.

If you need to sell or buy a home, a local Purplebricks REALTOR® can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-953-9533 to learn more. 

Randall Weese, Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta and Associate Broker for Manitoba for Purplebricks Canada

Randall Weese is the Director of Compliance and Brokerage Services at Purplebricks, where he is also the licensed Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta, and Associate Broker for Manitoba. A REALTOR® with 14 years’ experience in Ontario, Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area. Throughout his career, he has acted as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country.

Sources
[1] CREA: March 2021 Market Report, retrieved April 13, 2021.
[2] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[3] TRREB March 2020 Market Report
[4] TRREB February 2021 Market Report
[5] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[6] TRREB March 2020 Market Report
[7] TRREB February 2021 Market Report
[8] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[9] TRREB March 2020 Market Report
[10] TRREB February 2021 Market Report
[11] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[12] TRREB March 2020 Market Report
[13] TRREB February 2021 Market Report
[14] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[15] TRREB March 2020 Market Report
[16] TRREB February 2021 Market Report
[17] OREB March 2021 Market Report
[18] OREB February 2021 Market Report
[19] RAHB March 2021 Market Report
[20] RAHB February 2021 Market Report
[21] NAR March 2021 Market Report
[22] KWAR March 2021 Market Report
[23] KWAR February 2021 Market Report 
[24] CREA: GDAR March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 15, 2021
[25] GDAR February 2021 Report
[26] LSTAR March 2021 Market Report
[27] LSTAR March 2021 Market Update
[28 LSTAR February 2021 Market Report
[29] WECAR March 2021 Market Report
[30] WECAR March 2020 Market Report
[31] CREA: BRREA March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 15, 2021
[32] BRREA February 2021 Report
[33] CREA: BDAR March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 16, 2021
[34] GDAR February 2021 Report
[35] CREA: SLREB March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 16, 2021
[36] RAGBOS Apr. 12 Press Release: March 2021 & RAGBOS March 2021 Media Report
[37] RAGBOS February 2021 Market Report
[38] CREA: PKAR March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 19, 2021
[39] PKAR February 2021 Report
[40] CREA: HPAR March 2021 Market Report, retrieved Apr. 19, 2021
[41] HPAR February 2021 Report

†The Canadian Real Estate Association calculates benchmark prices using the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which uses data from a region to define a “typical” home. Benchmark prices can reflect the changes to a region’s property value far more accurately than average or median prices. Statistics presented herein are rounded to the nearest whole number for readability. Exact statistics can be found using the references provided.