Canadian Real Estate Association says July marked a record high for home sales

CREA says the actual national average price for homes sold in July was a record $571,500

The Canadian housing market saw more sales this July than any month in the past 40 years, with 30 per cent more homeowners closing on properties compared to this time last year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday that the 62,355 sales in July 2020 marked the highest monthly sales figure on record, with data going back more than 40 years.

Sales in July were up 30.5 per cent compared with the same month a year ago and up 26 per cent from June, rebounding from lows of earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic froze the market.

CREA Senior Economist Shaun Cathcart said there was more than one driving force behind July’s full-tilt housing market, citing both COVID-19 and existing issues heading into 2020.

“A big part of what we’re seeing right now is the snap back in activity that would have otherwise happened earlier this year,” Cathcart said.

“Recall that before the lockdowns, we were heading into the tightest spring market in almost 20 years.”

“Some purchases will no doubt be delayed, but the new-found importance of home, lack of a daily commute for many, a desire for more outdoor and personal space, room for a home office, etc. will certainly also spur activity that otherwise would not have happened in a non-COVID-19 world.”

CREA says the actual national average price for homes sold in July was a record $571,500, up 14.3 per cent from the same month last year.

The uptick in prices was broad-based, with all 20 of the markets tracked by CREA reporting month-over-month increases in July.

The Toronto area, Guelph, Ottawa and Montreal saw the biggest price spikes, with prices climbing faster in most markets east of Saskatchewan. Prices rose more modestly in British Columbia and Alberta, CREA said.

In July, demand outpaced supply, as sales increased faster than new properties could be listed. Although new listings hit a record for the month of July, as the number of newly listed homes climbed by 7.6 per cent in July compared with June, it came amid a 26 per cent jump in sales.

Cathcart said in a statement that despite the surge in new listings hitting the market, the total number of listings that lingered on the market as inventory was at a 16-year low.

CREA’s statement also suggested that new supply appears to be “tapering off in many parts of the country,” with the Toronto area dominating new listings. The “sales-to-new listings” ratio in July was at its highest levels since 2001-2002, at 73.9 per cent.

“There are listings that will come to the market because of COVID-19, but many properties are also not being listed right now due to the virus,” said Cathcart.

Brian DePratto, senior economist at TD Economics, said it can be hard to understand how the housing market can be so hot when the unemployment rate remains in double-digits.

“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted lower income Canadians, who are less likely to be or become homeowners,” wrote DePratto in a note to clients. “Borrowing costs have fallen.”

DePratto said that the strength of the recent rebound in the housing market is “definitely surprising” and said there are still many factors to watch in terms of tracking the economic recovery from the pandemic.

“A number of support programs, including mortgage forbearance, are helping insulate the economy from the worst impacts of the pandemic,” wrote DePratto.

“As autumn approaches, these programs will expire or change form. Depending on the progress of the broader economic recovery, this could bring significant headwinds to housing markets, particularly prices.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Real estate

Just Posted

Teaching the teachers: investing in student success

Campbell River School District hires 11 new teacher coordinators

Dougal the blind raven enjoys role as ambassador at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Bird helps animal care technicians teach visitors about his species

Alberni celebrates First Nations heritage with new mural

Image at the entrance of Harbour Quay depicts the history of Tseshaht First Nation

EDITORIAL: It’s time to move on Bamfield Road project

Residents are tired of their pleas being ignored, like they have been for the past two decades

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Development permit approved for new auto dealership in Nanaimo

City council votes in favour of Mitsubishi building design proposal, including variances

Nanaimo RCMP resumes fingerprinting, police information check services

Certain services now available by appointment at detachment

Comox Valley Ringette Association requests equal ice time

Organizers want system changed to ensure gender equity for ice sports other than hockey

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Most Read