Canada’s housing market has cooled off since hitting a record high

Home sales dip 11.2% in Simcoe County after record setting March

Fewer homes were sold in Canada last month compared to the all-time record-setting month of March, with sales down 12.5 per cent.

The downward trend was witnessed right across the country with declines in 85 per cent of all local markets, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

There’s a significant ‘however’ though as April is up 256 per cent from one year ago when the pandemic first hit.

In the case of the April 2021 housing numbers, CREA’s Senior Economist Shaun Cathcart says the year-over-year is a comparison to the worst numbers ever published in April of last year.

“April housing numbers came in somewhere in between two extremes, which is a good thing”

“While the month-over-month relationship is to the strongest numbers ever published in March 2021. The result is that a relatively more ‘reasonable’ set of numbers in April 2021 looks both way up or way down depending on what crazy part of the last year you compare them to,” says Cathcart. “But the correct interpretation of those big numbers is that the April housing numbers came in somewhere in between those extremes, which is a good thing.”

Related: We may see some pre-pandemic normalcy in our housing market by the end of 2023

Realtors in Barrie recorded 26 per cent fewer sales when comparing April to a record-breaking March.
Realtors in Barrie recorded 26 per cent fewer sales when comparing April to a record-breaking March.

It continues to be a seller’s market in Canada, with 5.4 per cent fewer homes listed in April compared with March.

The average price for a home in Canada is nearly $700,000, up 41.9 per cent from the same month last year.

“While housing markets across Canada remain very active, there is growing evidence that some of the extreme imbalances of the last year are beginning to unwind, which is what everyone wants to see happen,” stated Cliff Stevenson, Chair of CREA.

Stevenson also noted that many jurisdictions enacted fresh COVID-19 lockdowns in April, making it harder to get a clear read on the underlying levels of demand and supply.

Fewer home and condo sales in Barrie

Realtors in Barrie recorded 26 per cent fewer sales when comparing April to a record-breaking March.

If you look at the year-to-date (YTD) figures released recently by the Barrie and District Association of REALTORS (BDAR) There’s been a 93.6 per cent increase in total units sold year-to-date and the average price skyrocketed by 40 per cent.

The April year-to-date average price in Barrie was $713,765, or 35.8 per cent more than the same timeframe last year.

Home sales dipped 11.2% last month in Simcoe County, down 21% in Barrie. Canadian home sales drop 12.5% in April from a record-high in March.

There were slightly fewer condos sold in Barrie in April but the average price went up nearly 8 per cent over March.

Although the change was less dramatic, realtors did see fewer sales and lower prices in Innisfil last month. The number of homes sold dropped 5.2 per cent while the average price decreased slightly by about 3 per cent.

There was no change in the number of homes sold in Orillia last month, but the average price of residential units dropped 5 per cent, to $610,234.

Related: Canada’s top banking regulator wants to increase the so-called ‘mortgage stress test’ to help stabilize the market.

Looking across all of Simcoe County, home sales dipped 11.2 per cent in April compared with the all-time record high set in March.

CREA believe 2021 may be another year where some of the spring market gets pushed into the summer by COVID-19.

“I believe we’ve all wanted to see the temperature turned down on this market after the last year and it looks as though that is finally happening, added,” added Cathcart.