buying a home

Buying a home in Toronto just got a lot more difficult as demand increases

A new report by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) shows that sales account for an increased share of listings compared to last year as the market tightens and competition for buying a home is on the rise.

“As we moved through the first quarter, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) Members were increasingly reporting that competition between buyers was heating up in many GTA neighbourhoods. The most recent statistics bear this out,” said TRREB President Paul Baron. “Recent consumer polling also suggests that demand for ownership housing will continue to recover this year. Look for first-time buyers to lead this recovery, as high average rents move more closely in line with the cost of ownership.”

There were reportedly 6,896 sales that went through the TRREB’s MLS® System in March 2023, which is down 36.5 per cent compared to March 2022, but actual and seasonally adjusted sales were up. TRREB reported that new listings are also down on a year-over-year basis, but by a much greater annual rate, which points to a tightening market and increased competition for the homes that are available to purchase.

“Lower inflation and greater uncertainty in financial markets has resulted in medium-term bond yields to trend lower. This has and will continue to result in lower fixed rate borrowing costs this year. Lower borrowing costs will help from an affordability perspective, especially as tighter market conditions exert upward pressure on selling prices in the second half of 2023,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Anecdotally, on social media home experts and realtors are talking about a return to multiple offers in greater numbers than what has been seen over the past six months to a year.

The average selling price for a home in the Greater Toronto Area was down 14.6 per cent to $1,108.606 when compared to last year. The price was up from last month when it was pegged at $1,095,617.

“As population growth continues at a record pace on the back of immigration, first-time buying intentions will remain strong. Because the number of homes for sale is expected to remain low, it will also be important to have substantial rental supply available. Unfortunately, this is not something we have at the present time. We need to see a policy focus on bringing more purpose-built rental units on line over the next number of years,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO