Home sales tumble in Barrie last month, reflecting nationwide trend

Home sales in Canada posted their worst start to the year since 2009

files from The Canadian Press

Homes sales plunged nearly 40 per cent in Barrie on a year-over-year basis in January, reflecting a trend seen across the country.

The Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR) says 91 residential units were sold in January, 39.7 per cent less than a year ago.

The average price of a home sold in Barrie last month was $724,037, which is 22.7 per cent less than in January 2022.

Across the country in January, the Canadian Real Estate Association says homes sales tumbled 37.1 per cent compared to a year ago, the lowest for the month since 2009.

The number of new listings in Barrie for January was 5.6 per cent higher compared to this time last year

On a month-to-month basis, the number of homes sold last month in Barrie compared to December was up 31.9 per cent.

“Hope springs eternal that housing activity may be close to a bottom, but we suspect that the market is still digesting the incredibly aggressive rate hikes of the past year,” Douglas Porter, BMO Capital Markets’ chief economist, said in a note to investors. 

Porter is looking for further price softness nationally in the months ahead because in the seven past housing corrections in Canada, it took three years on average for prices to hit the bottom, and he adds we are just one year from the peak of last February.

The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate eight consecutive times since March 2022, driving mortgage rates higher.

However, when carrying out the most recent rate hike, Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem said the bank will pause and assess the impact of higher rates on the economy and inflation.

Higher rates have weighed on the housing market with sellers not keen to list homes that will fetch far less than their neighbours’ did months ago and buyers deterred from making purchases because their borrowing costs are now steep, even as home prices slide.