The March 2014 TREB numbers are in. The biggest difference between March and the first two months of Q1 is that year-over-year sales are up, rather than down, due to some easing of market constraints. In short: after the winter's freeze, now that it's spring, properties have started to come onto the market.
What hasn't changed, though, is the steady upward march of home prices. Average prices are up by 7.2 per cent in comparison to March 2013.
Ultimately, this combination means that last year's lackluster market predictions may turn out to be too low. “With borrowing costs remaining low, and in fact declining, strong home ownership demand will continue to butt up against a constrained supply of listings. Strong price growth will be the result for the remainder of 2014. If the pace of price growth experienced in the first quarter is sustained, TREB may revise its outlook for the average selling price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
This is one of those times when it's great to be either a buyer or a seller. Sellers can take advantage of a market that's both strong and constrained to demand high prices for their homes: after all, lack of buyer choice means greater demand for the homes that are on the market, and greater demand means higher prices. On the other hand, with prices continuing to rise and a market that shows no sign of slowing, buyers who plunk down big sums for desirable homes can be assured that their investments are good ones.