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 per cent compared to the preCOVID period in March 2020. – There were 9,148 sales reported between March 15th and March 31st 2021, an increase of 174 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent compared to March 2020. The average selling price, at $1,097,565 was up by 21.6 per cent over the same period. Following the recent trend, low-rise home sales in regions surrounding the City of Toronto drove price growth.