Thursday, April 9, 2009

March 2009: Green Shoots?

Please refer here for all updated charts for this discussion:

March 2009 saw a flurry of activity in the Greater Toronto Area real estate market. Sales shot up to 6171 less than the March 2008 figure of 6631 by 460 transactions or 6.9%, but more than the February 2009 figure of 4120, an increase of 49.8%.

Firm vs. Conditional Sales

More buyers seemed to be willing to put offers on properties with no conditions, as demonstrated by the following graphs:

The firm sales out-numbered conditional sales by 2539 in March - this compares to 541 in February and 3008 in March 2008. The widened gap in March is an indication that more buyers were willing to put offers on properties without conditions.

Deals Fallen Through

Fewer transactions failed in March, as shown in these charts:

Expired, Suspended and Terminated Listings

In March, the number of listings that went off the market because of expiration, suspension or termination was 6130 - an increase of 11.3% from February's number of 5507. This seems to indicate that there was more turn over in listings as sellers adjust to the market.

New Power of Sale Listings

Even amidst signs of life, the number of new power of sale listings in March 2009 remained at an elevated level of 219. This elevated level has been maintained for the past three months now. As of April 9, there is a total of 377 power of listings in the GTA, slightly less than the reading of 389 on March 4. This is an indication that buyers are buying power of sale properties at a faster rate than they are coming on the market.

Price-to-Sales Ratio

The price-to-sales ratio is an indication of how maintainable prices are based on the level of sales. A high ratio would indicate that either prices are expensive or sales are low (i.e. lowered demand). A low ratio would indicate that prices are inexpensive or sales are high (i.e. heightened demand). In March, the ratio dropped significantly due to a spike in the number of sales. The ratio is still higher than prior years.