Market Watch - The Resale Market Settles Back to a Typical August

August’s unit sales followed a trajectory typical of the resale market’s summer months with a considerable decline in transactions compared to the spring. 

While the market has taken its regular summer breather, it is clear that the demand for ownership housing remains strong. At the same time, the supply of listings is down.

Ontario - The Resale Market Settles Back to a Typical August

Toronto, 02 September 2021 -- TRREB is reporting the third-best sales result on record for the month of August. While the market has taken its regular summer breather, it is clear that the demand for ownership housing remains strong. At the same time, the supply of listings is down. The result has been tighter market conditions and sustained competition between buyers, resulting in double-digit annual increases in selling prices.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,596 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2021 – down by 19.9% compared to the August 2020 record of 10,738. The condominium apartment market segment bucked the overall sales trend, with year-over-year growth in sales, continuing a marked resurgence in 2021. The number of new listings entered into the System was down year-over-year by 43%.

“The fact that new listings were at the lowest level for the past decade is alarming. It is clear that the supply of homes is not keeping pace with demand, and this situation will become worse once immigration into Canada resumes. The federal parties vying for office in the upcoming federal election have all made housing supply and affordability a focal point. Working with provincial and municipal levels of government on solving supply-related issues is much more important to affordability than interfering with consumer choice during the home buying and selling offer process or revisiting demand-side policies that will at best have a short-term impact on market conditions,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

The August 2021 MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 17.4% year-over-year. The average selling price for all homes combined was up by 12.6% year-over-year to $1,070,911. The strongest annual rates of price growth are still being experienced for low-rise home types. However, average condominium apartment price growth is now well above inflation as well. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price continued to trend upward in August.

“Sales have accounted for a much higher share of new listings this year compared to last, and the story was no different in August. There has been no relief on the supply side for home buyers, in fact, competition between these buyers have increased. As we move toward 2022, expect market conditions to become tighter as population growth in the GTA starts to trend back to pre-COVID levels,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.


Ottawa -- The Resale Market Settles Back to a Typical August

September 3, 2021 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,572 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,006 in August 2020, a decrease of 22%. August’s sales included 1,175 in the residential-property class, down 25% from a year ago, and 397 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 9% from August 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in August is 1,684.

“August’s unit sales followed a trajectory typical of the resale market’s summer months with a considerable decline in transactions compared to the spring and 9% fewer sales than in July (1,724). The number of properties changing hands was on par with August 2017 and 2018 figures. The reason we see a sharp decrease compared to last year’s numbers is due to the first wave lockdown in spring 2020, which shifted that market’s peak to the summer and fall months,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright.

“Year-to-date resales are at 14,728 and are 24% higher than this period in 2020, which clearly indicates we are in the midst of another strong year in the Ottawa market,” she adds.

August’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $407,148, an increase of 6% from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $674,449, an increase of 14% from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $722,526 for residential and $420,654 for condominiums, these values represent a 27% and 18% increase over 2020, respectively.*

“Supply continues to remain scarce, and that is the driving factor behind these price increases. New listings were down 400 units from July and 500 units from last August and below the 5-year average for the first time this year since February. Although inventory is approximately 5-6% higher than last year for both residential and condominium property classes, we are only at about 1.5 months’ worth of housing stock. To achieve a balanced market, we need 4-6.5 months’ supply of inventory,” Wright points out.

“We are pleased to see that housing affordability and the supply shortage have been a predominant part of election conversations and federal party platform pledges – which is a step in the right direction. We look forward to the collaboration between municipal, provincial, and federal governments to establish measures which will effectively address these fundamental barriers to homeownership for all Canadians who desire to own a home.”

OREB Members also assisted clients with renting 3,182 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 2,232 at this time last year.

BC Home Sales Returning to Normal While Supply Hits Record Low

Vancouver, BC – September 14, 2021 --  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,507 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2021, a decrease of 7.1% over August 2020. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $901,712, a 17.2% increase from $769,691 recorded in August 2020. Total sales dollar volume was $8.6 billion, an 8.9% increase from last year.

“Home sales around the province have essentially returned to normal after a record setting spring,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, we continue to see a drought in the total supply of listings as well as downward trend in new listings activity.”

Total active residential listings were down 37.9% year-over-year in August and were 42% below normal levels for the month of August.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 102.2% to $82 billion, compared with the same period in 2020. Residential unit sales were up 67.8% to 89,980 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 20.5% to $911,245.

Alberta - Market continues shift toward more balanced conditions after a torrid start to the year

City of Calgary, Sept. 1, 2021 – Citywide sales in August reached 2,151 units, 37% higher than last year and 25% higher than long-term trends. 

Sales have slowed from the record-setting pace seen earlier this year, but on a year-to-date basis, the eight-month total of 19,516 sales is higher than annual sales figures recorded over the past six years.

“Sales have far exceeded expectations throughout most of the pandemic, driven mostly by demand for detached homes. At the same time, supply could not keep pace and conditions shifted to favour the seller, something that has not happened in over six years,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“With more buyers than sellers, prices rose, providing an opportunity for many of the move-up buyers in the market. Over the past several months we have seen some adjustments in supply relative to sales, helping move us toward more balanced conditions.”

The months of supply in August was nearly three months. This is an improvement relative to earlier in the year, but conditions generally remain far tighter than typical August levels. However, some improvements in supply compared to sales have been slowing price growth.

As of August, the total residential benchmark price was $459,600, slightly lower than last month, but over nine% higher than levels recorded last year. The price gains have ranged by product type, with the highest gains occurring in the detached sector of the market.

Detached: Supported by gains in every district, August sales totalled 1,300 units, which is 31% higher than levels recorded last year and well above long-term averages. New listings have also improved relative to last year, but it has not been enough to cause any substantial change in inventory levels, which fell to 2,770 units this month. The months of supply remained just above two months in August. This is well below traditional levels for this time of year, but not as tight as levels recorded earlier in the year.

Following several months of strong price gains, August prices remained relatively stable compared with July figures but were more than 10% higher than levels recorded last year. Price gains continue to vary significantly based on location. Prices have risen across all districts relative to last year, but prices trended down In the City Centre, North West, West and South districts compared to last month.

Semi-Detached: Further year-over-year sales gains in August contributed to a record-high year-to-date sales total of 1,797 units, more than 70% higher than last year. Sales have improved across all districts in the city, but the largest gains occurred in the West, North West and City Centre.

While inventory levels have trended down over the past few months, so too has sales activity. The months of supply rose above three months in August for the first time since October of last year. Any shift toward more balanced conditions will help ease some of the upward pressure on prices.

As of August, the semi-detached benchmark price was $430,000, nearly 10% higher than last year, but only slightly higher than last month. Despite strong price gains across all districts, prices still have not recovered from previous highs in the South, North East and City Centre districts.

Row: The pace of growth in the sector has slowed, but row sales maintained their momentum in August, which was enough to push year-to-date sales to a new record high. New listings have also risen, preventing a more significant drop in inventory levels, but the months of supply fell just below three months in August.

The tighter conditions have been supporting price gains throughout most of the year, but the pace of growth is starting to slow. The row benchmark price in August pushed above $300,000, eight% higher than last year. Row prices have improved, but they remain lower than previous highs across every district in the city.

Apartment Condominium: Sales activity in August was higher than anything recorded over the past six years, but thanks to continued gains in new listings, inventory levels remain elevated compared to last year and longer-term trends. With 332 sales and 1,786 units in inventory, the months of supply remained above five months in August.   

While conditions are far better than last year, the apartment condominium sector has not seen the same type of sellers’ market conditions present in other property types, limiting price growth. As of August, the benchmark price was just over two% higher than last year, but it remains nearly 16% lower than previous highs.



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