Home prices continued their downward decline in most of the country’s major metro areas in July, alongside falling sales.
In the Greater Toronto Area, for example, the average selling price fell 6.2% from June to $1,074,754. That still remains 10.3% higher compared to a year ago. The Home Price Index Composite Benchmark, which removes seasonal volatility, remains 12.9% above year-ago levels.
In Vancouver, the average price slid 2.3% from a month earlier, and is up 10.3% compared to July 2021. In Calgary’s housing market, which has so far proven more resilient compared to others, the benchmark price posted a 0.7% month-over-month decline.
“With significant increases to lending rates in a short period, there has been a shift in consumer sentiment, not market fundamentals,” noted Keven Crigger, President of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).
TRREB added there is currently uncertainty among buyers over where the market is heading and is calling on “all levels of government to reassess and clarify policies related to mortgage lending and housing development.”
In a recent research note, RBC economist Robert Hogue suggested buyers in Ontario and B.C., who are “especially sensitive to interest rates,” will “struggle the most in the period ahead.”
“Our forecast has home resales in British Columbia and Ontario cumulatively sagging 45% and 38%, respectively, in 2022 and 2023, setting the stage for a home price index drop exceeding 14% from quarterly peak to trough in both provinces,” he wrote.
“While we project resale activity to cumulatively decline more than 20% in every other province (from all-round record levels) this year and next, we think prices will be more resilient in the more affordable regions of the country.”
Regional housing market roundup
Here’s a look at the July statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:
Greater Toronto Area
-24% month-over-month (MoM)
Active listings: 16,093
“The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) population continues to grow and tight labour market conditions will drive this growth moving forward. Despite more balanced market conditions resulting from rapidly increasing mortgage rates, policymakers must continue to take action to boost housing supply to account for long-term population growth,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. “With savings high and the unemployment rate still low, home buyers will eventually account for higher borrowing costs. When they do, we want to have an adequate pipeline of supply in place or market conditions will tighten up again.”
Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)
Greater Vancouver Area
Average price for all property types:$1,207,400
New listings: 3,960
Active listings: 10,288
“Home buyers are exercising more caution in today’s market in response to rising interest rates and inflationary concerns,” said Daniel John, chair of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “This allowed the selection of homes for sale to increase and prices to edge down in the region over the last three months.”
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)
Montreal Census Metropolitan Area
Home Sales: 3,080
Median Price (single-family detached):$550,000
Average Price (condo):$391,500
New listings: 4,901
Active listings: 12,668
“In the Montreal CMA…home prices are showing signs of slowing down, clearly affected by the rapid rise in financing costs, putting an end to a frenzied rise in prices and helping to change the mindset of buyers and sellers regarding market developments,” said Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department. “This is explained by the first increase in active listings since 2015, across all time periods. This foreshadows a shift in the market’s direction for the metropolis, which is further ahead in the residential real estate cycle than most other regions in Quebec…”
Source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)
Benchmark Price (all housing types):$540,000
New listings: 3,174
Active listings: 5,338
“Rising lending rates are causing shifts within the market and, as a result, new listings for higher-priced products are on the rise relative to sales activity,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Meanwhile, there continues to be a lack of supply for lower-priced detached and semi-detached product. This is driving consumers who are looking for affordable homes to purchase apartment-and row-style properties.”
“We are seeing the housing stock increasing with residential inventory up 19% and condominium supply 23% higher than 2020,” said Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright. “Although there were 700 fewer listings than in June, the number of properties that entered the market in July is over the five-year average by approximately 114 units. Along with the price stabilizations, we hope this may indicate that Ottawa’s resale market is moving towards a more balanced state, which would be good for everyone.”