National Home Sales Dip, Listings Surge in September 2023: CREA Report

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today unveiled statistics that highlight a declining trend in national home sales for September 2023. This marks the third consecutive month of a decrease in home sales, which fell by 1.9% month-over-month. However, this drop was only approximately half as large as the decline seen in August.

Despite this downward trend, the actual (non-seasonally adjusted) activity for September 2023 was 1.9% higher than September 2022. In a notable contrast, new property listings surged by 6.3% month-over-month, representing a substantial recovery from the 20-year low in March and are now near average levels.

Local markets showcased a mixed bag of changes. Decreases in major markets like Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area were balanced by gains in cities like Edmonton, Montreal, and the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA, remarked on the evolving market scenario: “The recent trend of slowing sales and rising new listings continued in September.” Cerqua suggests this might be an opportunity for potential buyers, but many remain cautious, awaiting further indications on interest rate peaks.

Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist, pointed out the rapid settling of the resale housing markets after a surprising rebound in sales and prices this spring. He said, “What happens next will depend on interest rates.” With uncertainty lingering around further hikes in rates and borrowing costs, Cathcart predicts a “quieter than normal winter with all eyes on the Bank of Canada.”

The sales-to-new listings ratio declined to 51.4% in September from 55.7% in August, falling below its long-term average of 55.2% for the first time since January. The national inventory stood at 3.7 months by the end of September, slightly below its long-term average.

The Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) decreased by 0.3% month-over-month, marking the first dip since March. This drop, however, is attributed mainly to trends in Ontario. Prices in other provinces continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace.

To conclude, the national average home price in September 2023 stood at $655,507, showcasing a 2.5% year-over-year increase. Future data will determine whether Ontario’s softening price trend will extend to other regions in the country.

Information for this briefing was found via CREA. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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