Housing Sales Continued its Move Up in March

For the third straight month of 2021, record home sales continued in March across the country with buyers taking advantage of favourable borrowing costs and continued improvement in many sectors of the economy.


Ontario -- Housing Sales Continued its Move Up in March

Toronto, 05 April 2021 -- 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% 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% 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% 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% compared to March 2020. The average selling price, at $1,097,565 was up by 21.6% over the same period. Following the recent trend, low-rise home sales in regions surrounding the City of Toronto drove price growth.


Ottawa  - March Resales Go Out Like a Lion

Ottawa, April 7, 2021 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,285 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,514 in March 2020, an increase of 51%. March’s sales included 1,705 in the residential-property class, up 47% from a year ago, and 580 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 65% from March 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in March is 1,688.

“A few factors contributed to the high number of resales in March,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright. “Typically, real estate is heavily influenced by the weather, and we had remarkable and unseasonably warm temperatures last month, which facilitated Buyers’ ability to view and purchase homes.”

“Also, there was a significant uptick in the number of new listings that came onto the market. This total (2,798) was higher than the 5-year listing average, which hadn’t happened since July 2020, when the first lockdown ended. Ongoing pent-up Buyer demand meant that most of the properties that came on the market in March were quickly acquired.”

“Meanwhile, the 51% increase in transactions over last year can be attributed to the State of Emergency, which commenced mid-March 2020 and impacted overall sales that month. Measuring against a drastically reduced comparable made this year’s figure jump,” Wright points out.

“Although the percentage of sales comparison may be somewhat skewed, multiple offers scenarios are undoubtedly escalating property values. Statistics show that in March 2021, 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, this is not the case in every instance and the balance sold with 6% selling at the list price and the other 14% selling for less than the list price.”

March’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $437,041, an increase of 18% from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $758,802, an increase of 35% from a year ago.With year-to-date average sale prices at $729,897 for residential and $415,054 for condominiums, these values represent a 32% and 17 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*

“These accelerated price growths are purely a result of long-term inventory shortage. I don’t believe that Ottawa’s market is by any means out of control but rather is coming into its own. However, until there is action at all three levels of government to resolve our supply challenges, our housing prices are not going to stabilize. And this phenomenon is not occurring in our market alone; housing stock scarcity is a nation-wide issue.”

“We have already seen an upturn in new listings coming onto the market, and we are hopeful this trend will continue. In fact, there may be some pent-up supply as Sellers have held back during the pandemic even though the market has been more active than expected throughout.” 

“Sellers will benefit from the advice of a REALTOR® who can ensure they are marketing and pricing their properties competitively and strategically. At the same time, Buyers continue to be challenged with a shortage of offerings and need to be equally strategic with the guidance of their REALTOR®,” Wright concludes.

OREB Members also assisted clients with renting 1,079 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 746 at this time last year.


Alberta - Calgary housing market sees best March sales in over a decade

City of Calgary, April 1, 2021 – The initial impact of COVID-19 on the housing market began last March.

One year later, it is not a surprise that March sales in 2021 were higher than in 2020. However, at 2,903 sales, this was the highest March total since 2007.  


“Low lending rates and improved savings have supported sales activity,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“However, sales have been somewhat restricted by the lack of listings. This month there was a jump in new listings, contributing to the strong monthly sales.” 

Inventory levels pushed above 5,400 units, but citywide months of supply fell below two months. This reflects the lowest months of supply for March since 2014 and these tight conditions have contributed to price gains.

In March, the benchmark price trended up over last month to $441,900, over six% higher than last year’s levels. The price gains have moved the market closer to recovery, but prices remain over five% lower than 2014 highs.

“Improving prices will likely support further gains in new listings, as sellers try to capitalize on the recent shift toward rising prices,” said Lurie.

“Eventually, this will help support more balanced conditions, but it could take time before we see this shift in the market.”


Detached, Like last month, detached sales activity improved across most price ranges and all districts in the city. While new listings did improve, inventory levels remained relatively low at 2,409 units, causing the months of supply to drop to just over one month.

The citywide detached benchmark price rose by nearly eight% compared to last year. Year-over-year gains ranged from a low of nearly three% in the City Centre to a high of nearly 11% in the North and South East districts.

Prices in most districts remain below previous monthly highs, but recent gains in both the North and South East have supported full price recovery in those areas.

Product priced under $400,000 recorded the lowest sales growth, as limited inventory weighed on that segment of the market. However, rising sales and easing inventory resulted in tighter market conditions across all price ranges. This is likely supporting price gains, not only in the mid and lower price ranges but also in the upper price ranges in the market.

Semi-Detached, Steady gains in sales caused first-quarter sales totals to reach nearly record highs for this property type. Improving new listings was not enough to offset the sales and the months of supply fell below two months for the first time since 2014. Low supply levels relative to sales contributed to further gains in prices, which, as of March, were nearly six% higher than last year’s levels.

Benchmark prices trended up across all districts and prices remained higher than last year’s levels across most districts. The largest year-over-year price gains occurred in the North district, with an increase of nearly 10%.

Row, Echoing the results of other property types, sales activity for row properties has risen far above long-term averages. However, it is the first time since 2014 that the months of supply have fallen below three months. The row-property market has taken longer to see tighter conditions, but the recent tightening is starting to have a more significant impact on price.

As of March, row benchmark prices rose to $288,800, nearly three% higher than last year. However, activity was not consistent across all districts.  The largest price gains occurred in the City Centre and West districts.  Despite recent gains, prices remain well below previous highs.

Apartment Condominium, For the third month in a row, sales activity was stronger than the previous year. New listings also rose and are causing some inventory gains. Despite the inventory gains, sales have been far better than levels seen over the past six years and the months of supply did trend down to the lowest March levels since 2014.

Tightening conditions did support some year-over-year price gains in this segment. After experiencing falling prices for the better part of five years, this change is a welcome shift for most sellers. However, prices remain nearly 17% below the 2014 highs.

Inventories remain exceptionally low for March and the months of supply eased to just over one month. These exceptionally tight conditions have supported further price gains this month. The benchmark price trended up over last month and currently sits over seven% higher than March 2020 figures.


Britsh Colombia - Home buyer and seller activity reached unprecedented levels across Metro Vancouver* in March.

METRO VANCOUVER, 9 April 2021 -- The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 5,708 in March 2021, a 126.1% increase from the 2,524 sales recorded in March 2020, and a 53.2% increase from the 3,727 homes sold in February 2021.

Last month’s sales were 72.2% above the 10-year March sales average and is the highest monthly sales total ever recorded in the region.

"In March, residents bought and listed homes across our region at levels not seen before. This surge in activity is increasing upward pressure on prices. We’re beginning to see double-digit price gains for single-family homes and townhomes over the last 12 months." Said Taylor Biggar, REBGV Chair

Demand was most pronounced in rural and suburban areas. Delta – South saw a 195.8% increase in sales over 2020 – the largest increase in Metro Vancouver. This was followed by Whistler, which experienced a 194.7% increase, and Squamish, which saw a 188.6% increase in sales.

There were 8,287 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2021. This represents an 86.8% increase compared to the 4,436 homes listed in March 2020 and a 64.2% increase compared to February 2021 when 5,048 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,145, a 4.8% decrease compared to March 2020 (9,606) and a 9.4% increase compared to February 2021 (8,358). This is 18.6% below the 10-year March total listings average.

“While we did see a record number of listings enter the market last month, the demand in today’s market isn’t allowing that new supply to accumulate. As a result, the overall inventory of homes for sale decreased compared to last year,” said Biggar.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for March 2021 is 62.4%. By property type, the ratio is 52.9% for detached homes, 79.9% for townhomes, and 65.4% for apartments.

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months. 

“Today’s activity can be attributed, in part, to an economy that’s showing signs of recovery, historically low-interest rates, high demand for space, and increased household savings,” Biggar said. 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,123,300. This represents a 9.4% increase over March 2020 and a 3.6% increase compared to February 2021. 

Sales of detached homes in March 2021 reached 1,965, a 130.6% increase from the 852 detached sales recorded in March 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,700,200. This represents a 17.9% increase from March 2020 and a 4.9% increase compared to February 2021. 

Sales of apartment homes reached 2,697 in March 2021, a 128.8% increase compared to the 1,179 sales in March 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment is $715,800. This represents a 3.7% increase from March 2020 and a 2.6% increase compared to February 2021. 

Attached home sales in March 2021 totalled 1,046, a 112.2% increase compared to the 493 sales in March 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $872,200. This represents a 10.4% increase from March 2020 and a 3.9% increase compared to February 2021. 

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