Toronto and GTA Markets in March 2023

GTA REALTORS® Release March 2023 Stats

“Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market conditions tightened in March 2023. Sales accounted for an increased share of listings in comparison to March 2022, suggesting that competition between buyers is on the rise. The average sale price was above the average list price for the first time since May 2022.

“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.”

GTA REALTORS® reported 6,896 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in March 2023 – down 36.5 per cent compared to March 2022. On a month-over-month basis, actual and seasonally adjusted sales were up. New listings were also down on a year-over-year basis, but by a much greater annual rate. This points to tighter market conditions compared to last year.

“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.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark was down by 16.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis, but up month-over-month on both an actual and seasonally adjusted basis. Similarly, the average selling price was down by 14.6 per cent year-over-year to $1,108,606. The average selling price was up month over-month on an actual and seasonally adjusted basis.

“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.

This is the monthly indication of the average sales prices of single family homes (all property types) in the GTA:


$932,297              January 1st

$966,001              January 31st

$1,044,910           February

$1,097,319           March        

$1,090,414           April

$1,108,137           May

$1,089,012           June

$1,061,653           July

$1,070,176           August                   

$1,135,027           September

$1,155,624           October

$1,162,564           November

$1,157,837           December


$1,157,837           January 1st                    

$1,242,407           January 31st

$1,334,062           February                         (all time peak)

$1,298,666           March                            

$1,250,739           April                             

$1,210,509           May                               

$1,145,804           June                              

$1,073,316           July                               

$1,078,863           August                            up

$1,086,560           September                      up     

$1,090,429           October                           up     

$1,079,616           November                      down         

$1,050,942           December                       down


$1,050,942           January 1st

$1,037,542           January 31st          down

$1,096,519           February               up

$1,108,606          March                   up

What usually happens each year? The market starts off in January, rises in February, gains momentum in March and April and reaches its peak for the year in May. The market declines in June, declines in July and then bottoms out in August. In September, it reverses itself and rises once again, and in October, it reaches its second peak for the year. In November, the market declines, as it does again in December, and the cycle repeats itself the following year.

The overall market peak took place at the end of February 2022. Then, we had a series of significant increases in the Bank of Canada rate.

The Buyers out there have the same amount of money that they had before, however, now more money will be going to the Banks for interest on mortgages than to the Sellers.

Price Decline

You will notice that there was a considerable price decline, which is now reversing. Buyers wanted to wait until the market had bottomed out. So, they waited. In January, the Bank of Canada increased raising interest rates and also stated that the process was now complete (at least, for now).

All the governments seemed to be focused on lowering prices. There were all kinds of new taxes imposed by federal, provincial and municipal governments. None of them worked. But, raising interest rates worked magically and reduced prices by as much as 20% since February 2022. In February and March 2023, prices increased.

Sales Activity

Buyers have been sitting on the sidelines until the Bank of Canada stopped raising interest rates. Obviously, it’s time to jump back in again. We are likely to see increasing prices going forward, subject of course, to the annual predictable fluctuations.

Sellers are holding back, not prepared to enter a falling market, so, we have a shortage of listings.

Bank of Canada Rates

These are the rates as of 12 April 2023:

Date*Target (%)Change (%)
April 12, 20234.50
March 8, 20234.50
January 25, 20234.50+0.25
December 7, 20224.25+0.50
October 26, 20223.75+0.50
September 7, 20223.25+0.75
July 13, 20222.50+1.00
June 1, 20221.50+0.50
April 13, 20221.00+0.50
March 2, 20220.50+0.25
January 26, 20220.25
December 8, 20210.25

*As of 2021, a change takes effect the day after its announcement.

Second Thoughts about Selling at the Peak

The market peaked at $1,334,062 in February 2022. Obviously, that was the best time to sell. Maybe and maybe not!

Closings are typically 60 to 90 days. Very short, 30 days or a little on the longer side, being 120 days. However, many February closings stretch out those full 120 days to close at the end of the school year, 30 June. The price at the end of June was $1,145,804, that’s a decline of $188,258 or 14.1%. Their properties appraise at $188,258 less than they need to close their deals.

For many purchasers, it simply meant that they didn’t have sufficient funds to close their deals. For the Sellers, this likely means a lawsuit to recover their losses. There are numerous lawsuits arising from the February sales. So, a February high priced sale became quite risky!

It’s usually best to avoid risky time periods.

The Market has Bottomed out and we are on a Rise Again

It’s unfortunate, that the media hasn’t written about this yet. They will in time.

If you would like to discuss the market, please give me a call at 647-404-8150.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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