Home Sales Hit Another Record

Home sales edged up a further 0.9 per cent between August and September, raising them to yet another new all-time monthly record, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The small change from August to September had under its surface a mixed bag of results with about 60 per cent of local markets seeing gains. Increases in Ottawa and Hamilton-Burlington, ON; Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, BC; and Calgary, AB; were mostly offset by declines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), ON; and Montreal, QC; although, activity in the two largest Canadian markets is still historically very strong. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity posted a 45.6 per cent year-over-year gain in September. It was a new record for the month of September by a margin of some 20,000 transactions, the equivalent of a normal month of September with an entire month of December tacked on. Sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to September 2019. So far this year, some 402,578 homes have traded hands over Canadian MLS Systems, up 5.8 per cent from the first nine months of 2019. "This is starting to sound like a broken record (about records being broken), but Canadian home sales and prices set records once again in September amid record-tight overall market conditions, as they did in July and August," says Shaun Cathcart, CREA's senior economist. "Reasons have been cited for this – pent-up demand from the lockdowns, government support to date, ultra-low interest rates, and the composition of job losses to name a few. I would also remind everyone that sales were almost setting records and markets were almost this tight back in February so we were already close to where things are now.” The number of newly-listed homes fell back by 10.2 per cent in September, reversing the surge to record levels seen in August. New supply was down in two-thirds of local markets, led by declines in and around Vancouver and the GTA.