December Home Sales Hit Another Record

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems jumped by 7.2 per cent between November and December to set another new record, says the Canadian Real Estate Association. Seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 714,516 units in December – the first time on record that monthly sales at seasonally adjusted annual rates have ever topped the 700,000 mark. The increase in national sales activity was driven by gains of more than 20 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), ON, and Greater Vancouver, BC. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity posted a 47.2 per cent year-over-year gain in December – the largest year-over-year increase in monthly sales in 11 years. It was a new record for the month of December by a margin of more than 12,000 transactions. For the sixth straight month, sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019. For 2020 as a whole, 551,392 homes traded hands – a new annual record. This is an increase of 12.6 per cent from 2019 and stood 2.3 per cent above the previous record set back in 2016. "The stat to watch in 2021 will be new listings, particularly in the spring,” says Shaun Cathcart, CREA's senior economist. "We already have record-setting sales, but we know demand is much stronger than those numbers suggest because we see can see it impacting prices. On New Year's Day there were fewer than 100,000 residential listings on all Canadian MLS Systems, the lowest ever based on records going back three decades. Compare that to five years ago, when there was a quarter of a million listings available for sale. So we have record-high demand and record-low supply to start the year."