Record-setting month in August for Canadian home sales

Sales activity also posted a 33.5 per cent year-over-year gain in August

It was another record-setting month in August for Canadian home sales.

A report released Tuesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association showed that MLS sales in the country increased by 6.2 per cent during the month.

“Unlike the previous two months in which activity was up right across the country, sales in August were up in about 60 per cent of local markets. Gains were led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. With ongoing supply shortages in so many parts of Canada, it is interesting to note that the GTA and Lower Mainland also saw a considerable amount of new supply become available in August,” said CREA in a news release.

Sales activity also posted a 33.5 per cent year-over-year gain in August. It was a new record for the month of August, and the sixth-highest monthly sales figure of any month on record. Transactions were up compared to last August in almost all Canadian housing markets, added the association.

“It has been a record-setting summer in many housing markets across Canada as realtors and their clients play catch up following the loss of so much of the 2020 spring market,” said Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of CREA. “Many markets dealing with inventory shortages have been seeing fierce competition among buyers this summer; although, that was something that had been anticipated for 2020 prior to COVID-19. It really does seem that the spring market shifted into the summer.

“As conditions evolve into fall, we continue to make sure clients stay safe by complying with government and health officials’ directives and advice, including using technology to show properties virtually and to complete required forms and contracts.”

“It will come as a surprise to many that as of the end of August, home sales in 2020 had fully caught up to where we were at that time last year; however, that is somewhat of a low bar as the first half of 2019 wasn’t really anything to write home about,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. 

“A more useful comparison would be to ask where are we now versus where we thought we’d be before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, and on that score there is still a lot of catching up to do. Despite some record monthly highs and lows this year, with eight months now in the books and activity showing signs of moderating in September, 2020 is looking like it will go down as a fairly middling year overall – weaker than in a non-COVID world but quite a bit better than we would have given it back in April.”

 

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