The national real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down, with Canada seeing a record high number of home sales in March.
A new report from the Canadian Real Estate Association revealed that last month, home sales in Canada climbed 5.2% from February, hitting a whopping 76,259 sales. This is the highest level of activity for any month in the country’s history and is nearly 14,000 more than the previous record hit in July 2020.
According to the report, sales were largely seen in Canadian cities that had more new listings come on the market, with Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton-Burlington, and Ottawa seeing the biggest bump in sales.
Sale prices also increased last month, bringing the national average home price to a record $716,828 — a 31.6% increase from the same month last year. Single-family homes saw the most growth out of every home type, and unsurprisingly, it was Greater Vancouver that had the biggest overall price increase.
The Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area, the report notes, have a significant impact on the national average price. When those two areas are excluded from the national market calculation, the average price falls by more than $160,000.
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After a frustrating year of extremely limited inventory coming on the market at a time when demand has never been higher, the number of new listings has finally been climbing. In March, they went up by 7.5%, increasing the total new supply over the past two months by more than 25%.
“That demand has been around for months, but with the shortages in supply we have across so much of Canada, a lot of that demand has been pressuring prices,” said CREA Chair Cliff Stevenson. “So the big rebound in new supply to start the spring market is the relief valve we need the most to get that demand playing out more on the sales side of things and less on the price side.”
However, Stevenson says it will take much more than just one month of increased listing to change the housing market’s condition.
He also cautions that as we move out of the pandemic, the market could look less hopeful for sellers who were too hesitant to sell during the past year while competition was extremely high.
“As the uncertainty caused, and danger posed by COVID wind down, some owners who would not sell during a global pandemic will emerge with properties for sale, while at the same time some of the urgency on the demand side could dissipate,” Stevenson said. “We’ll only know in the fullness of time, but March certainly did nothing to disprove the idea.”
But with the third wave of COVID-19 hitting the country right now, Stevenson says it could throw a wrench into a potential springtime recovery. And as with most predictions during an unpredictable pandemic, only time will tell.