Higher borrowing costs are continuing to weigh on housing demand in many of the country’s largest cities. But the latest data also shows a surge in new listings in January.
On an annualized basis, home sales in January remain down 45% and 55% in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, the local real estate boards reported. Average prices in both markets are also down by 16.4% in Toronto and 6.6% in Vancouver compared to January 2022, but were down just marginally compared to December.
Most markets also saw an increase in new listings compared to December, but remain lower compared to year-ago levels. Both Toronto and Vancouver saw new listings jump by 89% and 173%, respectively, compared to December, the local real estate boards reported.
In Ottawa, new listings are up 16% compared to last year and 89% from the previous month.
“The increase in new listings and supply is a boon for home buyers, who now have more selection and the ability to put in conditions at a less frantic pace,” said Ken Dekker, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
“After being exacerbated by a severe lack of supply over the past two years, this seems to be coming to an end,” Daren King, an economist with National Bank of Canada, wrote about the GTA figures.
Combined with the low level of sales, King noted that the increase in new listings allowed for an increase in inventories, with active listings up 4.4% in the month, its third consecutive increase.
“This reversal has affected market conditions so that they are now well established into ‘favourable to buyers’ territory,” he added.
Regional housing market roundup
Here’s a look at the January statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:
Greater Toronto Area
- -44.6% year-over-year (YoY)
- -0.54% month-over-month (MoM)
Average price: $1,038,668
- -16.4% YoY
- -1.2% MoM
New listings: 7,688
- -3.7% YoY
- +89% MoM
Active listings: 8,692
- +125% YoY
- -7% MoM
“Home sales and selling prices appear to have found some support in recent months. This coupled with the Bank of Canada announcement that interest rate hikes are likely on hold for the foreseeable future will prompt some buyers to move off the sidelines in the coming months,” said TRREB President Paul Baron. “Record population growth and tight labour market conditions will continue to support housing demand moving forward.”
Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)
Greater Vancouver Area
- -55% YoY
- -21% MoM
MLS Home Price Index benchmark price: $1,111,400
- -6.6% YoY
- -0.3% MoM
New listings: 3,297
- -20.9% YoY
- +173% MoM
Active listings: 7,478
- +32% YoY
- +1.27% MoM
“Due to seasonality, market activity is quieter in January. With mortgage rates having risen so rapidly over the last year, we anticipated sales this month would be among the lowest in recent history,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV director of economics and data analytics. “Looking forward, however, the Bank of Canada has said that it will pause further rate increases as long as the incoming economic data continues to support this policy stance. This should provide more certainty for home buyers and sellers in the market.”
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)
- -40.2% YoY
- -0.41% MoM
Benchmark Price (all housing types): $520,900
- 5% YoY
- +0.4% MoM
New listings: 1,852
- -25% YoY
- +80% MoM
Active listings: 2,451
- -43% YoY
- +10.7% MoM
“Higher lending rates are causing many buyers to seek out lower-priced products in our market,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the higher rates are likely also preventing some move-up activity in the market impacting supply growth for lower-priced homes. This is causing differing conditions in the housing market based on price range.”
Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)
- -35% YoY
- +0.8% MoM
Average Price (residential property): $676,272
- -12% YoY
- +3% MoM
Average Price (condominium): $412,244
- -8% YoY
- -5.2% MoM
New Listings: 1,324
- +16% YoY
- +89% MoM
“January’s marked slow down in unit sales over 2022 indicates potential homebuyers are taking their time,” said OREB President Ken Dekker. “While last month saw the culmination of the succession of interest rate hikes announced by the Bank of Canada, affordability remains a factor. They may be waiting for a shift in listing prices. They’re being cautious in uncertain conditions.”
Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)
The least affordable housing in the history of Canada is “favourable to buyers?”. Prices may be down but not enough to account for the purchasing power loss to rate hikes.
Can’t speak to other markets but in London we are seeing a lot of high end listings. Investors bought new builds on spec and upon completion cannot now finance the homes or find tenants that can afford the rent required to cover the carrying costs.