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Ontario March Real Estate Market Update

A small house with a red roof and white walls, featuring an adjacent swimming pool and a yellow car parked outside, surrounded by grass and trees, set on a cross-section of earth in Ontario. Birds

The Ontario housing market in March 2024 showed some subtle shifts, with moderate declines in monthly home sales and a rise in new and active residential listings, resulting in a growing inventory. Meanwhile, the average price of resale homes continued to rise.

Home Sales

In March 2024, residential sales activity in Ontario, as reported through MLS®, totalled 15,167 units. This was a moderate decline of 4.4% compared to March 2023. However, on a year-to-date basis, home sales increased by 7.9% from the same period last year, totaling 37,571 units over the first three months of the year. Nationally, home sales activity rose by 1.7% from March 2023 levels. For historical context, home sales were 28.7% below the five-year average and 26.1% below the 10-year average for March.

The total dollar value of home sales in Ontario for the month was $13.5 billion, slightly dropping by 3% compared to March 2023.

Average Price

The average price of Ontario resale residential homes in March was $889,033, up 1.4% from the previous year. The year-to-date average price had the same 1.4% increase, reaching $865,788. For reference, the Canada-wide average price rose by 2% year-over-year to $698,530.

Listings

In March, the increase in new listings surpassed MLS® home sales. New MLS®  listings increased 14.4% from March 2023, with a total of 30,610 new residential listings. However, this was still 11.5% below the five-year averages, and 9.9% below the ten-year averages for March.

Active residential listings in Ontario stood at 37,735 units at the end of March, representing a notable increase of 25.8% from the same period last year. This was the highest number of active listings for the month of March for the past five years.

Active listings for the month of March surpassed the five-year average by 34.3% and the 10-year average by 3.5%.

Inventory

Inventory rose to 2.5 months at the end of March 2024, up from 1.9 months in March 2023.

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Construction Starts

For Ontario’s seasonally adjusted total housing starts, the seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) for January 2024 were 82,93; for February 2024, this number rose to 89,960. The trend numbers, or six-month moving average of SAARs are 84,151 for January and 85,426 for February 2024.

Key Economy Indicators – Employment

The unemployment rate was 6.5% in March 2024, showing a slight increase of 0.2% from February. Despite this, the unemployment rate remained below the June 2020 peak and the long-run average. There was a reduction of 3,900 full-time jobs in March 2024 from February; although an increase of 22,800 part-time positions resulted in a net gain of 18,900 total jobs. These numbers are seasonally adjusted, three-month moving averages to allow for normal seasonal fluctuations.

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