Home sales across Canada fell for the third consecutive month in June as the market continued to slow from its March highs, but the month still set a record, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday.
The association said sales cooled in 80 per cent of the country’s local markets as 50,810 homes changed hands last month, down 8.4 per cent from 55,497 in May.
However, when compared with a year ago, sales in June rose 13.6 per cent to set a new record for the month.
While the frenzied pace of sales that kicked off 2021 and triggered an all-time record in March are dissipating, Elton Ash said CREA’s figures indicate that many markets are still heated.
“We will still continue to see price escalations for the balance of this year, but it is starting to slow down as more inventory comes out on the market,” said Ash, a regional executive vice-president at Re/Max Canada.
“June was another record setting month, but we do see the market starting to adjust to hopefully more realistic market conditions.”
As vaccination efforts intensified and more businesses reopened following COVID-19 lockdowns, he noticed the multi-offer environment start to ease and said buyers are being “satiated somewhat” by existing supply.
CREA said 73,402 homes were listed in June, down 0.7 per cent from 73,912 in May.
On a non-seasonally-adjusted basis, 86,632 were newly listed in June, up 1.4 per cent from 85,421 a year earlier.
The biggest increase in new listings between May and June came in the Halifax Dartmouth region, which saw 53.9 per cent more properties hit the market.
Meanwhile, the Quebec and Saguenay areas saw the most dramatic month-over-month drops with new listings falling by 28.1 per cent and 26.3 per cent, respectively.
On a year-over-year basis, the most significant decline in new listings came in Saguenay, where there were 47.2 per cent fewer homes to choose from, while the largest increase was in the Niagara region of Ontario, where a 34.3 per cent spike was seen.
Across the country, CREA said the actual national average price of a home sold in June was a little over $679,000, up 25.9 per cent from $539,182 a year ago.
Vancouver had the highest prices with the average home selling for $1,199,984, up 14.3 per cent from $1,049,475 the year before.
The Greater Toronto Area trailed at $1,089,560, up 17 per cent from $930,869 in June 2020.
CREA said year-over-year price growth is averaging around 30 per cent in Ontario, 20 per cent in B.C., 15 per cent in Manitoba and 10 per cent in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
While CREA’s senior economist Shaun Cathcart said the theme of the summer and many housing markets is “slowly getting back to normal,” he admitted that “it’s a long road back to normal.”
In a note to clients, BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic appeared to agree.
Extreme levels of housing sales are disappearing, but demand is historically high, he wrote.
“We believe that sales activity will continue to gradually cool in the year ahead, but it’s going to take higher interest rates to soften the market in a meaningful way.”