Exclusive: CREA report reveals staggering slump in Canada’s housing market

In this file photo, a new home is shown for sale in a housing development in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick


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“The Canadian Housing Market: A Deep Dive into the Data”

Canada’s housing market is facing a decline, with a decrease in property listings and sales, as shown by the latest monthly data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The data, released by CREA, reveals that home sales in Canada continue to experience a downward trend, dropping by 5.6 percent in October.

Hibernation of Home Buyers

Larry Cerqua, chair of CREA, expressed concern about the housing market, stating, “We’re only in November, but it appears many would-be home buyers have already gone into hibernation.” He also noted that some sellers may be postponing their plans until the spring, leading to a decrease in new listings by 2.3 percent in October compared to the previous month.

The Sales-to-New Listings Ratio

The sales-to-new listings ratio, a key metric in the real estate market, dropped to 49.5 percent, reaching a 10-year low. This ratio is used by real estate experts to analyze the relationship between home sales and new listings, determining whether it’s a seller’s or a buyer’s market. According to CREA, the long-term average sales-to-new listings ratio is around 55 percent, but it currently stands at 49.5 percent.

Market Trends and Price Fluctuations

Despite the decline in home sales, the housing market was more active in October than it was the previous year, with an actual increase of 0.9 percent in home sales compared to October 2022. However, average home prices declined by 0.8 percent in October, with noticeable softening in parts of Ontario and British Columbia. On a yearly basis, the average home price in October 2023 was 1.8 percent higher than in October 2022, reaching around $656,000.

Regional Variances

The data also showed that residential pricing has increased across 10 provinces, with the biggest spike in New Brunswick, where the average price of a home in October 2023 was over 12 percent higher than in October 2022. However, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced a two percent drop in pricing.

Outlook for the Future

As of the end of October 2023, there were enough properties on the market to take 4.1 months to sell at the current pace, known as “months of inventory.” While this is up from the low of 3.1 months in May, it is still below the long-term average of nearly five months. Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist, expressed uncertainty about the housing market, suggesting that a rebound in housing activity may not occur until spring 2024, depending on the decisions made by the Bank of Canada.

“The Future of Canada’s Housing Market”

Canada’s housing market is facing considerable challenges, with a decline in home sales and fluctuations in average prices. The impact of these trends varies across different regions, creating uncertainty for both buyers and sellers. As we look towards the future, it remains to be seen how the market will recover and whether the decisions made by financial institutions will play a crucial role in shaping the housing landscape. With many factors at play, including interest rates and market demand, the path ahead for Canada’s housing market raises important questions about its resilience and adaptability in an ever-changing economic environment.


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