Detached homes sales rose to record their best first quarter since 2014.

Improving sales started last year in this market, but much of the gains were driven by lower-priced homes. Moving into the first quarter, sales activity not only improved in the lower price ranges, but in the upper price ranges as well.

Low lending rates and the desire for more space have driven up demand for detached homes, which had struggled prior to COVID-19.

The rise in new listings in the first quarter helped support some of the sales growth. The gap between sales and new listings widened in the first quarter, especially compared to last quarter, but inventories still trended down on a quarterly basis and were well below levels traditionally seen at this time of year.

The months of supply for the first quarter averaged less than two months. This reflects some of the strongest sellers’ market conditions seen in the detached sector and is well below balanced levels. The tight market conditions have supported some of the highest price gains relative to other product types, as citywide prices trended up by nearly three per cent relative to last quarter and were over five per cent higher than prices recorded in the first quarter of last year.

Sellers’ market conditions were fairly prevalent across most districts of the city, with the months of supply below two months for all districts except the City Centre. Most districts also recorded year-over-year price gains of more than three per cent, with the strongest first-quarter gains occurring in both the North and South East districts at over eight per cent.

The City Centre has lagged behind some of the other districts due to oversupply that was the highest relative to the rest of the city prior to the pandemic. However, recent declines in inventories and improvements in sales have supported some modest price gains in the district this quarter.