- National home sales declined 1.9% month-over-month in September.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) monthly activity came in 1.9% above September 2022.
- The number of newly listed properties jumped 6.3% month-over-month.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) edged down 0.3% month-over-month but was up 1.1% year-over-year.
- The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price posted a 2.5% year-over-year increase in September.
Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems posted a 1.9% decline between August and September 2023. While this marked the third straight month in a row of decrease, September’s drop was only about half as large as the one recorded in August.
Local market changes in sales activity were generally small in September, with declines in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) offsetting gains in Edmonton, Montreal, and the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in September 2023 came in 1.9% above September 2022.
“The recent trend of slowing sales and rising new listings continued in September,” said Larry Cerqua, Chair of CREA. “This presents an opportunity for buyers, although many of them seem content to stick to the sidelines until there’s more evidence that interest rates are indeed finally at the top. This, combined with sellers who, by and large, do not need to sell, means the market will likely remain on the slower side until next year. That said, there are still tens of thousands of deals going on every month, and if you’re looking for information and guidance about how to buy or sell a property in the current market, contact a REALTOR® in your area,” continued Cerqua.
“Resale housing markets have settled down pretty quickly following this spring’s brief and somewhat surprising rebound in sales and prices,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “With the inventory of homes for sale still historically low amid huge demand for housing in Canada, what happens next will depend on interest rates. Whether that means uncertainty about the possibility of further hikes, or just the cost of borrowing money right now, neither of these will be resolved for would-be buyers anytime soon. As such, expect a quieter than normal winter with all eyes on the Bank of Canada. We’ll see how buyers are feeling when the snow starts to melt.”
The number of newly listed homes jumped 6.3% on a month-over-month basis in September, making for a cumulative gain of about 35% from the 20-year low reached back in March. New listings are trending near average levels now.
With sales continuing to trend lower and new listings posting another sizeable gain in September, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 51.4% compared to 55.7% in August and a recent peak of 67.8% in April. It was the first time that this measure has fallen below its long-term average of 55.2% since January.
There were 3.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of September 2023, up from 3.5 months in August and its recent low of 3.1 months in June. That said, it remains below levels recorded through the second half of 2022 and well below its long-term average of about five months.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) edged down 0.3% on a month-over-month basis in September 2023— the first decline since March.
That said, the small dip in prices at the national level in September was entirely the result of trends in Ontario. Prices are still rising, albeit more slowly than they were, across other provinces.
Incoming data over the next few months will determine whether Ontario is an outlier or just the first province out of the gate to show the kind of softening price trends that would be expected to play out in at least some other parts of the country given where interest rates are.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. While prices have generally been levelling off in recent months and even dipped nationally and in Ontario in September, year-over-year comparisons will likely continue to rise a bit in the months ahead because of the base effect resulting from declining prices in the second half of last year.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $655,507 in September 2023, up 2.5% from September 2022.