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Sales down consecutive months: CREA

Ottawa city skyline at dusk.

It appears that buyer fatigue has indeed crept into the Canadian housing market, with sales declining by 7.4% month-over-month in May, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Although activity is historically high, May marked the second straight month of declining sales—nearly 80% of markets reported drops—after they fell by 11% in April.

“While housing markets across Canada remain very active, we now have two months of moderating activity in the books, and that goes for demand, supply and prices,” Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, said in a statement. “More and more, there is anecdotal evidence of fatigue and frustration among buyers, and the urgency to lock down a place to ride out COVID would also be expected to fade at this point given where we are with the pandemic.”

New listings decreased by 6.4% on a monthly basis in May, and because many markets are grappling with historically low inventory, that pushed the aggregate price of a Canadian home up by 1% during that period. The actual price of a Canadian home in May, says CREA, was $688,000. Excluding the Greater Vancouver and Toronto areas cut nearly $140,000 from that price, the association added.

The seasonally adjusted aggregate price of a Canadian home was $717,000 last month.

New listings also fell in about 70% of local markets, and the national sales-to-new-listings ratio declined to 75.4% in May from 76.2% in April. The long-term average for national sales-to-new-listings ratio was 54.6% last month, which is historically high, albeit well below its peak of 90.7% in January.

About the Author

Neil Sharma is the Editor-In-Chief of Canadian Real Estate Wealth and Real Estate Professional. As a journalist, he has covered Canada’s housing market for the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, and other publications, specializing in everything from market trends to mortgage and investment advice. He can be reached at neil@crewmedia.ca.

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