Canadian home sales set new record, beating 2020

November 16, 2021 | Livabl

The year is not even over yet and Canada has posted the most home sales on record, surpassing previous record-holding levels logged in 2020.

In its monthly national market report for October, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) stated property sales grew from September to October as the average national home price rose on an annual basis.

“After a summer where it looked like housing markets might be calming down a bit, October’s numbers suggest we might be moving back towards what we saw this Spring, with regards to current market demand and supply conditions,” said Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, in the report.

“That said, one month of data is not a trend, so we’ll be watching how the balance of this memorable year plays out closely,” he added.

Here’s what we know from CREA’s latest insights.

Home sales soar to new highs

Year-to-date, 581,275 homes have been bought and sold between January and October across Canada. This has surpassed the total number of homes sold during all of 2020, which reported an annual record of 552,423 sales.

The number of yearly property sales for October 2021 was down by 11.5 per cent, a drop from October 2020’s record. However, last month was still the second-highest October for sales on record.

Month-to-month, home sales were up 8.6 per cent from September to October, the largest monthly increase reported since July 2020. Sales were reported to have increased monthly in three-quarters of all local markets and in all major cities.

​​”2021 continues to surprise,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist, in the report. “Sales beat last year’s annual record by about Thanksgiving weekend so that was always a lock, but I don’t think too many observers would have guessed the monthly trend would be moving up again heading into 2022.”

Cathcart added that a month with more new listings allowed for more sales to take place, but with market demand so strong, the supply of homes for sale continues to shrink and is at its lowest point on record.

Less than two months of home inventory was available

The quantity of newly-listed homes coming online moved up by 3.2 per cent between September and October, with most gains in local markets.

However, on a national scale, there was just 1.9 months worth of inventory by the end of October 2021. This marks a half-month drop from three months earlier, falling back to February and March’s extreme lows.

“With so many markets starved for supply, it’s not surprising to see sales go up in months when more properties go up for sale,” the CREA report noted.

The sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 79.5 per cent, up from 75.5 per cent in September and 73.5 per cent in August. Based on sales-to-new-listings ratios, two-thirds of local markets were seller’s markets in October.

Photo: James Bombales

National home price continues to trend upward

The actual national average home price was $716,585 in October 2021, up 18.2 per cent from October 2020. When excluding Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area from this calculation, the national average price drops $155,000 to approximately $561,585.

Last month, the Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index was up 2.7 per cent monthly and 23.4 per cent year-over-year.

When analyzing specific markets, British Columbia reported annual home price growth above 20 per cent, but this was lower in Vancouver. Year-over-year price growth came close to 30 per cent in Ontario and was reported to be a little over 20 per cent in Greater Montreal.