March numbers don’t show the entire story when it comes to sold numbers

Upon first glance, one might think that the Greater Toronto real estate market was in a massive downfall when compared to March sales a year earlier. 

We went from 15,628 sales in 2021 to 10,995 sales in March 2022. That’s a whopping 30% decrease, which is large for year over year under normal circumstances. But it’s the other statistical numbers that help fill in the blanks when trying to understand what’s going on. 

New listings to the market were down almost 12%. Active listings declined 4.1% and the number of days on market it takes to sell went down 16.7%. And prices were up 18.5%

Now it’s too early to tell if this is the start of a longer trend but in the short term if we want prices to level off or even come down, we need more supply for buyers to choose from. I think we’ll see when April’s numbers come out in the next few weeks that there will be more supply and less sales. A combination of the interest rate shock and uncertainty, combined with buyer psyche. Will home prices be less next month, or will they be more? These are legit questions for a buyer to consider.

No one can say with certainty what that answer will be, although many Realtors and mortgage brokers on social media seem to have it all figured out. Well, at least until they don’t.

We can give a best case guesstimate in the short term, but when you are buying real estate your plans should always have a long term view. If your plans are shorter term, probably best to rent in my opinion. 

Going back to the April numbers, in a way, we almost need there to be some negative news come in on both supply (plenty of it) and average prices (slightly decreasing) to get buyers off the fence. 

It will be slow as in my opinion, sellers are often slower to react to changes while buyers are over aggressive. An example would be a property that comparatively be valued at $1.5 million in January 2022, might have a seller expecting somewhere in the $1,450,000 range. The buyer wants to offer $1.3. And the standoff begins until the market gets itself unstuck.

Like I said, time will tell, and it will take a few months at least to have a better understanding of what’s happened in the now. What’s that they say about hindsight? 🙂

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