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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser-Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

Work has started on 20 units of seniors’ housing in Clinton

Much-delayed project has been in the works for almost a decade

Cache Creek firefighters plan bigger, better Halloween fireworks

‘With so much uncertainty in the world it’s nice to know that one community event is staying intact’

Volunteers welcome at this year’s Black Powder Desert Rendezvous

Plus farmers’ markets, an art show, a bottle drive, a Fire Prevention Week contest, and more

Ashcroft looks into hiring bylaw officer with Cache Creek, Clinton

Funding available to help communities hire bylaw during COVID-19 state of emergency

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Most Read