Canada’s real estate markets experienced a decline in homes listed and sold in April 2020 when compared to the previous month, according to the latest market report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
April 2020: Canada’s Real Estate at a Glance
Between March and April, residential real estate sales in Canada fell by 56.8% as pandemic-fuelled physical distancing measures and economic fallout continued, prompting homebuyers and sellers to put their moving plans on hold.
Month-over-month home sales fell is all of Canada’s biggest housing markets, including the Greater Toronto Area (-66.2%), Montreal (-64.4%), Greater Vancouver (-57.9%), the Fraser Valley (-54.8%), Calgary (-53.1%), Edmonton (-46.6%), Winnipeg (-42%), Hamilton-Burlington (-59.8%) and Ottawa (-51.5%).
The decline in sales is in lockstep with a national drop of 55.7% in new listings hitting the market between March and April.
On a year-over-year basis, transactions were down 57.6% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. This is the lowest April sales figure since 1984.
“Never in our recent history have we dealt with such widespread effects of a pandemic that limit everyone’s day-to-day life, and have forced all of us to pivot and adjust to our new reality,” said Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of CREA.
“Like so many other parts of normal daily life, a lot of buying and selling activity in housing markets across Canada has been put on pause,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “That said, preliminary data for May suggest things may have already started to pick up a bit for both sales and new listings, in line with evidence that new and existing virtual technology tools have been adopted by Realtors and their clients.”
RELATED READING: RE/MAX 360 Tours the Next Big Thing in Virtual Real Estate
“We’ve seen a massive uptick in the use of technology to facilitate virtual deals over the past few weeks,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Given that people may still need to proceed with buying and selling for a host of different reasons, this makes it possible and safe – and agents have the tools.”
RELATED READING: Canada Real Estate Trends After Lock-Down
New Listings & Inventory
Canada’s real estate markets saw new listings fall by 55.7% month-over-month in April.
Home sales and new listings saw a similar decline in April, leaving the national sales-to-new listings ratio at 62.4% compared to 64% in March and 65.4% in February. “While this is down slightly, the bigger picture is that this measure of market balance has been remarkably little changed considering the extent to which current economic and social conditions are impacting both buyers and sellers,” CREA says.
April had 9.2 months of inventory, up from March’s 4.3 months and well above the long-term average of 5.2 months.
Canada’s Housing Prices
Canada’s real estate prices in April 2020 declined by 1.3% year-over-year, at $488,000.
This number is skewed by the Greater Vancouver Area and the Greater Toronto Area, which are Canada’s busiest and priciest housing markets. Excluding these two markets would reduce the national average house price by almost $100,000, to $392,000.