Canadian Home Sales See Downward Trend Continue in October: CREA

National home sales declined on a month-over-month basis in October 2023, according to statistics recently released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Statistics recently released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) have revealed that national home sales declined on a month-over-month basis in October 2023.

According to CREA, home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems posted a 5.6 per cent decline between September and October 2023, which was the result of fewer sales in most of Canada’s largest markets.

The statistics noted that the actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in October 2023 came in 0.9 per cent above October 2022.

Monthly home sales. (CNW Group/Canadian Real Estate Association)

“We’re only in November, but it appears many would-be home buyers have already gone into hibernation,” said Larry Cerqua, chair of CREA. “The October numbers also revealed some sellers may be shelving their plans until next spring. That said, there are still a lot of people active in the market and looking to get deals done this year.”

“We know housing demand is extremely high all across the country, but October’s resale data was further confirmation that it probably won’t be manifesting itself in the existing home market for the remainder of this year and likely not until spring 2024 at the earliest,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist. “The rebound in activity this past spring was an example of what we might see next year. It will really come down to whether the Bank of Canada has to increase interest rates again, or whether by next March it’s simply a matter of how soon we’ll see the Bank make its first cut.”

According to the statistics, the number of newly listed homes fell 2.3 per cent on a month-over-month basis in October, the first decline since March.

With sales falling by more than new listings in October, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 49.5 per cent, according to the statistics, which is a 10-year low. The highest level for this measure was 67.9 per cent, recorded in April. The long-term average for this measure is 55.1 per cent.

According to CREA, there were 4.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2023, up a full month from its low of 3.1 months in May. CREA noted that it remains below its long-term average of near five months of inventory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) declined by 0.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis  in October 2023. According to CREA, home prices are also now starting to soften in parts of British Columbia. The Aggregate Composite MLS HPI was up 1.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $656,625 in October 2023, up 1.8 per cent from October 2022, according to CREA.

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