This year has already proven to be a new record-setter for national home sales, according to the latest report from the Canadian Real Estate Association – a total of 581,275 homes have traded hands thus far in 2021, already outpacing the 552,423 sales that occurred over the entirety of 2020.
October Buyer Demand Back to Early Spring Levels
It was also the second-hottest October on record; after a slower fall start, buyers returned to the market with renewed force last month, snapping up nearly every listing in sight, and driving scorching price growth and sellers’ conditions.
CREA reports a total of 53,746 transactions (seasonally adjusted) last month, marking an increase of 8.6% from September, the largest monthly uptick so far this year. While year-over-year numbers are still lagging the record set in 2020 by 11.5%, that gap is steadily shrinking each month.
Sales were up in three-quarters of all local markets, says CREA, devouring a slight 3.2% increase in new listings, which still linger nearly 20% below last year’s levels. Inventory remains extremely low at 1.9 months – almost half what was available three months ago, and on par with the conditions seen in February and March. To put that into perspective, the long-term average is more than five months for this time of year.
“2021 continues to surprise. Sales beat last year’s annual record by about Thanksgiving weekend so that was always a lock, but I don’t think too many observers would have guessed the monthly trend would be moving up again heading into 2022,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “A month with more new listings is what allows for more sales because those listings are mostly all still getting gobbled up; however, with demand that strong, the supply of homes for sale at any given point in time continues to shrink. It is at its lowest point on record right now, which is why it’s not surprising prices are also re-accelerating. We need to build more housing.”
Sellers’ Markets Reign Supreme Across Canada
CREA notes that the majority of Canada’s cities and towns can be considered sellers’ markets, with a national sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) of 79.5%. This ratio, which is calculated by dividing the numbers of sales by the number of new listings during the month, reflects the level of competition in the market; a range between 40 – 60% indicates a balanced market, with above and below that threshold indicating sellers’ and buyers’ conditions, respectively.
Such limited supply, combined with fierce demand, continues to put the boil under home price growth, with the national average up 18.2% annually to $716,585, and the MLS Home Price Index up 23.4%.
By province, prices have seen the strongest growth in Ontario, where they’re pushing 30% year over year, with much of that focused in the Greater Toronto Area. Values are up 20% in British Columbia, though it’s notably the communities outside of Vancouver that are seeing the largest increases. Prices in the prairies are up in the low- to mid-single digits, while the eastern provinces are sizzling, up 30% in New Brunswick, and 10% in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Check out the infographic below to see how benchmark home prices performed in major markets across Canada in October :
CREA : Annual Home Sales Smashed The 2020 Record in October by Penelope Graham | zoocasa