Toronto's Post-March Break Housing Surge: Will Listings Translate to Sales in the Spring Market?

Toronto's Post-March Break Housing Surge: Will Listings Translate to Sales in the Spring Market?

In the first three days after March Break, the Toronto housing market was inundated with new listings. Will that translate into sales? We’ll have to wait until the March numbers are released, but one thing to keep in mind is that in February, the average single family home was on the market for 26 days, while the average condo took 41 days.

The spring market traditionally begins after Easter, but because we’ve had the warmest winter on record since 2009, house hunting has become more appealing and with the exception of March Break, it’s been a busy month!

One thing is for certain - there’s less emotion in the market than there was before, especially for condo buyers. Buyers are confident that they’ll find what they want. Last month there were about 4,400 condos on the market, including 2,237 that were listed in February.

There also doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency around units that are usually in high demand which is adding the amount of time properties are staying on the market. Add to that, a lot of listings are being terminated and then relisted either at the same price or at a lower price which increases the "property days on market" even more.

The reason this is happening is people are still testing the market looking for a deal. When it comes to condos, if they are looking to purchase, they are being careful and waiting patiently for the right opportunity.

Case in point, a unit at the Massey Harris lofts (not my listing!). It shows beautifully and they don’t come up very often, but after three weeks, the price was lowered. It went from $1,149,000 to under $1M and as of this writing, it’s still on the market.

Single family homes are a different story. One thing I’m noticing is that so many sales are significantly over asking (like hundreds of thousands of dollars), which could partly be due to underpricing, but also people are expecting an interest rate drop and they’re trying to get ahead of the expected uptick in the market because of lowered rates.

I think when we get the March stats, we’ll see the price of condos remain fairly stagnant, but there will be price growth in the single family home market.

The media is also driving the market. If you read the headlines, you see things like “First-Time Buyers Are Bringing On Bidding Wars And Closing In On $1M Listings”

“What will Toronto's spring housing market look like? Experts say first-time buyers are back — and prices could jump 6% this year”

I often am asked when is the best time to make a move and my answer is always the same. You can try to strategize the market and time it perfectly, but it's rare that one ever hits the bottom or the top of the market. Those that succeed most in real estate, are those that ride allong the middle over time. Quite, honeslty, it always comes down to making a move at the time that’s best for you.

I can’t predict if there will be a substantial difference between what’s happening in the market now and what will happen later this spring. Even if the Bank of Canada decreases the interest rate, it’ll be a quarter of a percent, which will give people some positivity. It may drive a few buyers forward, but I don’t know whether it’ll be substantial.

If you’re curious about what’s selling in your neighbourhood or just want to talk real estate, give me a call!