Canada's home sales soared and reached a new record in August

Sep 22 2020, 11:13 am

New data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) indicates a strong rebound in national home sales and new listings in August 2020.

According to a release, there was a 6.2% increase in home sales for the month compared to July, marking a new all-time monthly record. Sales were up in about 60% of local markets, with the gains led by the Greater Toronto, Metro Vancouver, and BC Fraser Valley areas.

Sales activity also saw a 33.5% year-over-year increase for the month, which is another record for the month of August and the sixth highest monthly sales figure of any month on record.

As of the end of August, 341,463 homes have been sold across the country — an increase of 0.8% compared to the first eight months of 2019. The number of newly listed properties also went up by 10.6% compared to the previous month.

Nearly 75% of the local markets saw an increase in supply, especially in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Greater Toronto, and Ottawa. The increase in new supply in August outpaced the rise in sales for the first time since the rebound in May, with the national sales-to-new listings ratio dropping slightly to 69.4% in August compared to 72.3% in July

By the end of the month, there were only 2.6 months of inventory across the country, which is the lowest reading on record for this measure.

Home prices saw an uptick of 1.7% month-over-month, with gains recorded everywhere but Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. The largest home price gains were experienced in Ottawa and Montreal, where there was a year-over-year increase of 19.9% and 16.4%, respectively. Greater Toronto and the surrounding Greater Golden Horseshoe markets experienced increases of between 10% and 15%.

The national average home price reached a record of over $586,000 in August, up by 18.5% compared to the same month in 2019. This is largely due to the soaring home prices of Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto, as without these two markets the national average home price would drop by about $122,000.

“It has been a record-setting summer in many housing markets across Canada as realtors and their clients play catch up following the loss of so much of the 2020 spring market,” said Costa Poulopoulos, chair of the CREA, in a statement.

“Many markets dealing with inventory shortages have been seeing fierce competition among buyers this summer; although, that was something that had been anticipated for 2020 prior to COVID-19. It really does seem that the spring market shifted into the summer.”

The rebound since late spring could give 2020 a “fairly middling year overall” for the state of the real estate market in the country.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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