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Canadian home sales in July

Is the worst of the housing downturn behind us?

Home prices in the country’s large metro were back on the rise in April, causing some experts to ask, “is Canada’s housing downturn officially over?

Prices remain lower by 5-10% in most markets—with the exception of Calgary, where average prices are up more than 1% year-over-year. But average prices in most markets rebounded compared to March, with month-over-month gains of 2% in Vancouver, 4% in Toronto and 5% in Ottawa.

While more inventory became available in most markets, it still wasn’t enough to keep up with the rising demand.

In Toronto, a 6.5% rise in new listings “gave buyers more options to bid on,” noted RBC economist Robert Hague. “Still, new sellers only met rebounding demand partway. Demand-supply conditions tightened for a fifth-straight month and now look as firm as they were before the market’s downturn.”

Activity also picked up in Vancouver, with new inventory up about 9% month-over-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, Hague added. But again, it wasn’t nearly enough to match the 30% jump in sales.

Is the worst of the housing downturn over?

The recent strength of housing markets across the country in recent months is causing some to wonder if the worst of the housing downturn has already passed.

“There were hints for some time the cyclical bottom would be reached this spring, but April pretty much sealed the deal,” Hogue noted. “While still beset by a sharp loss of affordability in the last couple of years, buyers appear more confident to house hunt now that the Bank of Canada has paused its aggressive rate hike campaign (for good we believe).”

Paul Barron, President of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, echoed that sentiment, saying sales and the average selling price are improving in line with the real estate board’s outlook and recent consumer polling results.

“Many buyers have come to terms with higher borrowing costs and are taking
advantage of lower selling prices compared to this time last year,” he said. “The issue moving forward will not be the demand for ownership housing, but rather the ability to meet this demand with adequate supply.

Regional housing market roundup

Here’s a look at the April statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:



Greater Toronto Area

April 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,153,269-7.8%
New listings11,364-38.3%
Active listings10,373-20.8%

“As demand for ownership housing has picked up relative to supply, we are seeing renewed upward pressure on home prices,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. “For a short period of time, higher borrowing costs trumped the impact of the constrained housing supply in the GTA. Renewed competition between buyers is once again shining the spotlight on the persistent lack of listings and resulting impact on affordability.”

Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)

Greater Vancouver Area

April 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,170,700-7.4%
New listings4,307-29.7%
Active listings8,790-4.2%

“The fact we are seeing prices rising and sales rebounding this spring tells us home buyers are returning with confidence after a challenging year for our market, with mortgage rates roughly doubling,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV Director of Economics and Data Analytics.

“And what we’re seeing unfold so far this year is consistent with our prediction that near record-low inventory levels would create competitive conditions where almost any resurgence in demand would translate to price escalation, despite the elevated borrowing cost environment,” he added.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)

Montreal Census Metropolitan Area

April 2023YoY % Change
Median Price (single-family detached)$540,000-7%
Median Price (condo)$390,000-5%
New listings5,464-11%
Active listings16,456+61%

“This spring brings a sense of optimism as we have passed the peak of fixed and variable mortgage rates and median property prices in the Montreal CMA are trading 5 to 8 per cent below the high reached at this time last year,” said Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department.

“However, activity was disappointing in April after a promising month of March. This is not necessarily due to a lack of buyer confidence in the market, since interest rates are stabilizing and prices are clearly indicating an upward movement,” he added. “In addition to high prices, it is also due to the lack of properties for sale on the market, as evidenced by the historic drop in listings for a month of April.”

Source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)


April 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$550,800+1.2%
New listings3,133-31.7%
Active listings3,238-33.6%

“While sales activity is performing as expected, the steeper pullback in new listings has ensured that supply levels remain low,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The limited supply choice is causing more buyers to place offers above the list price, contributing to the stronger than expected gains in home prices.”

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)


April 2023YoY % Change
Average Price (residential property)$747,123-10%
Average Price (condominium)$435,875-8%
New listings2,144-25%

“Ottawa’s resale market is on a steady upward trajectory, narrowing the comparison gap to peak pandemic activity in 2022,” said OREB President Ken Dekker. “However, with new listings not keeping pace, the available housing stock is declining, and with less than two months of inventory — we’re back into seller’s market territory.”

Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)