August home sales slow across Canada
October 2, 2023
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reports seasonally adjusted home sales totalled 38,345 in August 2023—down 4.1 per cent from July 2023. The actual number of sales amounted to 40,257—up 5.3 per cent from a year earlier.
The Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 0.25 per cent in July, making August the first full month in the new interest rate environment.
However, CREA chair Larry Cerqua saw some stability returning to the market despite sales being pulled lower in August by declines in Greater Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, London and St. Thomas, Ontario.
“With sales slowing and new listings returning to more normal levels, demand and supply are continuing to come into better balance” he said in a press release.
“This is giving buyers more time and more choice.”
Cerqua's observations were based on new listings hitting 69,438—a 5.5 per cent rise from August 2022. The seasonally adjusted number fell for the fifth consecutive month, reaching 68,276—up less than 1 per cent from July.
The seasonally adjusted average price of a home in August fell 2.3 per cent from July to $674,184, while the actual price was up 2.1 per cent from a year earlier to $650,140.
Though housing affordability remains a “significant problem,” recent data for the second quarter shows an uptick in first-time purchases said Sherry Cooper, chief economist with Dominion Lending Centres.
CREA noted regional differences are also re-emerging.
Price growth has remained solid in Quebec and the East Coast, followed by British Columbia and the Prairies, CREA said.
“Ontario is now a mixed bag, still with some of the bigger increases but also some of the bigger declines.”
Cooper sees the Bank of Canada backing off on rate hikes and supply gradually returning to help housing activity pick up in the coming months.