Winter Sets in For Canadian Housing Market; Sales, Prices, New Listings Drop: CREA By Zoocasa – Canada

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The decline in sales and new listings last month suggests homebuyers and sellers nationwide are settling into the sidelines for the winter. Many are also anticipating the Bank of Canada to announce rate cuts in the spring which may be influencing buyers and sellers to park real estate plans for the time being.

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That being said, national home sales were down year-over-year by just 0.9% according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Month-over-month figures look more dramatic as national sales dropped from October to November by 11.9%. However, these drops are allowing the national sales-to-new listings ratio to level out at a balanced 49.8%, meaning there is less competition and more stable pricing.

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“I wouldn’t expect anything too headline-grabbing from the resale housing market for the next few months,” said Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA. “That’s a good thing, because a market that looks to be stabilizing in balanced territory increasingly suggests the soft-landing scenario,” said Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA.

The majority of housing markets experienced a month-over-month drop in sales of more than 10%, with Winnipeg and Regina experiencing the greatest decreases at 27% and 24.3% respectively, while in Ontario, Kitchener-Waterloo experienced the biggest month-over-month drop at 20%. Saint John and Hamilton-Burlington were the only two major markets to experience an increase in month-over-month sales, jumping up by 11.7% and 2.3% respectively.

Looking at year-over-year sales is more of a mixed bag. Most Ontario markets, including Greater Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington, experienced a year-over-year drop in sales while the Prairies, British Columbia, and the East Coast performed much better with year-over-year sales growth. Year-over-year sales increased by more than 10% in Saint John, Halifax-Dartmouth, Edmonton, Regina, and Saskatoon.

As housing demand is settling down, home prices across the country are dropping from their summer peaks. Though prices in most major markets are not yet below last year, they are getting closer as they are experiencing significant month-over-month drops. Notably, in-demand Ontarian markets like Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Greater Toronto experienced a 2% drop or more since last month. For Greater Toronto, November marked the fifth month in a row of a price drop, with the benchmark price just 0.12% higher than last year.

In certain markets, like Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo and Regina, prices have already fallen below last year’s levels, offering a chance for those previously priced out to enter these markets. And with new listings also falling, previously tight sellers’ markets are shifting to more balanced conditions.

National new listings were down 22.7% from October but up 10.5% from 2022. Locally, new listings were down month-over-month by more than 20% in Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, London and St. Thomas, Ottawa, Halifax-Dartmouth, and Greater Toronto. Year-over-year listings are still up in most markets however, meaning the country’s low inventory issue is more stable than compared to last year.

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