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March home sales in Canada's metro areas

Housing markets remained tight in March ahead of the busy spring homebuying season

Metro housing market highlights

Home prices in the country’s large metro areas seem to be finding some support following a rise in sales in March and still tight inventory ahead of the traditionally busier spring homebuying season.

In Toronto, average prices rose slightly from February, but remain down nearly 15% from a year ago.

Similarly in Vancouver, March sales came in stronger than expected with 2,535 properties trading hands in the month. That’s still down over 42% from last year, but up 40% from February.

The Montreal market also tightened slightly due to March sales outpacing the addition of new inventory compared to February.

Demand expected to pick up further this spring

The real estate boards in both Toronto and Vancouver reported increased activity ahead of the spring market, even against the backdrop of elevated borrowing costs.

“The spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about one to two per cent across all product types,” said Andrew Lis, Director of Economics and Data Analytics for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Paul Baron said his members are “increasingly reporting that competition between buyers was heating up in many GTA neighbourhoods,” and that consumer polling suggests demand for housing will continue to recover throughout the year.

Ben Rabidoux of Edge Realty Analytics said discussions with front-line industry practitioners suggest Toronto’s real estate market is indeed heating up.

“I continue to expect a 20%-30% bounce in sales this spring,” he wrote in a newsletter to clients.

Regional housing market roundup

Here’s a look at the March statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:



Greater Toronto Area

March 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,108,606-14.6%
New listings11,184-44.3%
Active listings10,120-0.4%

“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.”

Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)

Greater Vancouver Area

March 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,143,900-9.5%
New listings4,317-35.5%
Active listings8,617+8.1%

“On the pricing side, the spring market is already on track to outpace our 2023 forecast, which anticipated modest price increases of about one to two per cent across all product types,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV Director of Economics and Data Analytics. “The surprising part of this recent activity is that these price increases are occurring against a backdrop of elevated borrowing costs, below-average sales, and new listing activity that continues to suggest that sellers are awaiting more favourable market conditions.”

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)

Montreal Census Metropolitan Area

March 2023YoY % Change
Median Price (single-family detached)$535,000-5%
Median Price (condo)$381,500-5%
New listings6,487-8%
Active listings16,574+62%

“Following a period of unprecedented overheating, the Montreal CMA market was one of the first to react negatively to the rapid rise in interest rates that began a year ago. Currently, it is one of the first to react positively to the stabilization of interest rates, as is the case for several other major Canadian markets,” said Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department. “Although the economic uncertainties are far from over, households, like investors, are increasingly confident and inclined to carry out their intention to purchase a home in a context of stabilized financing conditions. Even though sales are still down, the slowing of this decline is a positive sign that the market is stabilizing.”

Source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)


March 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$541,800+0.8%
New listings3,318-40%
Active listings3,233-26.4%

“As expected, sales have eased from record levels while remaining stronger than they were before the pandemic thanks to recent gains in migration supporting demand,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The challenge has been centred around supply. As a result, existing homeowners may be reluctant to list as they struggle to find an acceptable housing alternative in this market. At the same time, higher lending rates can also reduce the incentives for existing homeowners to list their home.”

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)


March 2023YoY % Change
Average Price (residential property)$710,070-17%
Average Price (condominium)$418,670-13%
New listings2,089-21%

“The recent rise in transactions is a sign of typical spring activity, even if we’re behind the pandemic peaks of 2022. As spring unfolds, so too will a clearer picture of Ottawa’s balanced market stat,” said OREB President Ken Dekker.

“As evidenced by the recent climb in freehold prices, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rate,” he added. “Condos remain steady due to their lower price point; there’s more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. Prices are certainly headed in the right direction—if you are looking forward.”

Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)