Home sales plummeted by over 50% across Canada last month

May 15 2020, 11:55 am

Canadian homes sales and new listing each fell by more than 50% in April compared to March of this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales fell by 56.8% on a month-over-month basis in April, with activity dropping 57.6% on a year-over-year basis — marking the lowest April sales figure since 1984.

And, the number of new listing fell by a similar amount by 55.7% from March to April.

CREA found that transactions were down on a month-over-month basis across the country.

Among Canada’s largest markets, sales fell by 66.2% in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 64.4% in Montreal, 57.9% in Greater Vancouver, 54.8% in the Fraser Valley, 53.1% in Calgary, 46.6% in Edmonton, 42% in Winnipeg, 59.8% in Hamilton-Burlington and 51.5% in Ottawa.

“Never in our recent history have we dealt with such widespread effects of a pandemic that limit everyone’s day to day life and have forced all of us to pivot and adjust to our new reality,” said Costa Poulopoulos, chair of CREA.

“Realtors across the country continue to comply with all government directives and advice to keep their clients safe. We’ve adopted new technologies allowing us to continue showing properties virtually as well as completing all necessary documents. Realtors remain your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home in these unprecedented times.”

CREA

With sales and new listings once again falling by similar percentages in April, the national sales-to-new listings ratio edged back to 62.4% compared to 64% in March and 65.4% in February.

While this is down slightly, it means that the market balance hasn’t been significantly impacted, considering the extent to which current economic and social conditions are affecting both buyers and sellers.

However, according to the CREA, the extent of which sales and new listings have fallen in various markets, the sales-to-new listings ratio at the local level has been “extremely volatile.”

As for home prices, gains were made in some parts of the country but overall prices were  “flat or down” in a majority of markets in April compared to March.

The actual, not seasonally adjusted, national average price for homes sold in April 2020 was just over $488,000, down 1.3% from the same month the previous year.

But, CREA notes that the national average price is heavily influenced by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets.

If these two markets were excluded it would cut almost $100,000 from the national average price, making it less than $392,000.

In the months ahead, the extent to which sales fluctuate in these two markets, in particular, could have a notable impact on the national average price.