Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged up slightly in November, holding onto all of the gains made in October.
- National home sales rose 0.6% on a month-over-month basis in November.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) monthly activity edged down just 0.7% on a year-over-year basis.
- The number of newly listed properties climbed by 3.3% from October to November.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 2.7% month-over-month and was up a record 25.3% year-over-year.
- The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price posted a 19.6% year-over-year gain in November.
Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.6% between October and November 2021. The small increase followed on the heels of a 9% jump in activity in October.
Across the country, sales gains in Calgary, Edmonton, the B.C. interior, Regina and Saskatoon offset declines in activity in the GTA and Montreal.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in November 2021 was very strong historically, edging down a scant 0.7% on a year-over-year basis, missing the 2020 record for that month by just a few hundred transactions.
On a year-to-date basis, some 630,634 residential properties have traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems between January and November 2021, far surpassing the annual record 552,423 sales for all of 2020.
“November provided another month of evidence that the housing supply/demand issues facing the country have not gone away,” said Cliff Stevenson, Chair of CREA. “Even at what is traditionally the slow time of year for housing, conditions and price trends are at the same record levels we saw this spring. Things may calm down a bit through the balance of December and January, but next year’s spring market will no doubt be an interesting one. If you’re thinking about jumping into the market as either a buyer or a seller or both, your local REALTOR® has the information and guidance you’ll need to navigate the market in these challenging times,” continued Stevenson.
“Housing cycles can be very long, so market trends do not care that we’ve put new 2022 calendars up on our refrigerator doors,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “The fact is that the supply issues we faced going into 2020, which became much worse heading into 2021, are even tighter as we move into 2022. Interest rate hikes will make it even harder for new entrants to break into the market next year, even though activity may remain robust as existing owners continue to move around in response to all of the changes to our lives since COVID showed up on the scene. As such, the issue of inequality in the housing space will remain top of mind. One wildcard will be what policymakers decide to do with the national mortgage stress test, which could act as a kind of cushion against rising rates for young and/or first-time buyers. It could also make things that much harder for them.”
The number of newly listed homes rose by 3.3% in November compared to October, driven by gains in a little over half of local markets, including the GTA, Lower Mainland, Montreal, and many markets in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe.
With new listings up by more than sales in November, the sales-to-new listings ratio eased a bit to 77% compared to 79.1% in October. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 54.9%.
About two-thirds of local markets were seller’s markets based on the sales-to-new listings ratio being more than one standard deviation above its long-term mean. The other one-third of local markets were in balanced market territory.
There were just 1.8 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of November 2021, tied with March 2021 for the lowest level ever recorded. The long-term average for this measure is more than 5 months.
In line with some of the tightest market conditions ever recorded, the Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up another 2.7% on a month-over-month basis in November 2021.
The non-seasonally adjusted Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up by a record 25.3% on a year-over-year basis in November.
Looking around the country, year-over-year price growth has crept back up to nearly 25% in B.C., though it remains lower in Vancouver, on par with the provincial number in Victoria, and higher in other parts of the province.
Year-over-year price gains are still in the mid-to-high single digits in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while gains have risen to about 13% in Manitoba.
Ontario saw year-over-year price growth hit 30% in November with the GTA continuing to surge ahead after having trailed most other parts of the province for most of the pandemic.
Greater Montreal’s year-over-year price growth remains at a little over 20%, while Quebec City was only about half that.
Price growth is running above 30% in New Brunswick (higher in Greater Moncton, lower in Fredericton and Saint John), while Newfoundland and Labrador is now at 10% year-over-year (lower in St. John’s).
The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends because averages are strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $720,850 in November 2021, up 19.6% from the same month last year. The national average price is heavily influenced by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation in November 2021 cuts $158,000 from the national average price.
SOURCE Canadian Real Estate Association