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Home prices rising in Canada's biggest cities

May statistics show Canada’s housing rebound may have started early

Housing markets in the country’s largest metro areas continued to gather steam in May, pointing to a housing rebound that wasn’t expected by the Bank of Canada until later this year.

But while sales are picking up across the country, the inventory of units is still struggling to keep pace, with new and active listings down by double digits in certain cities compared to a year ago. In Calgary, for example, active listings are down nearly 40% year-over-year.

“With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 85% and months of supply of one month, conditions continue to favour the seller placing further upward pressure on home prices,” the Calgary Real Estate Board noted in its release.

It was a similar story in several other markets, such as the Greater Toronto Area and the Montreal Census Area, where average prices are up 3.7% and nearly 2%, respectively, compared to the previous month.

“Regional releases for the month of May from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Fraser Valley (the market that has been driving much of the recent national strength), and Montreal point to a continued acceleration in the housing market,” Scotiabank economist Farah Omran wrote in a research note.

Housing strength could make the case for an additional rate hike

These regional statistics provide an estimate of the national data, which is released by the Canadian Real Estate Association mid-month.

“Home sales seem to have increased in all the reported major regional markets in May, pointing to an aggregate performance in May that is almost 10% stronger than in April,” Omran added.

And that, she notes, could lead to stronger GDP growth in the second quarter than is currently forecast by the Bank of Canada, which didn’t expect a rebound in housing until the second half of 2023.

“Combined with April’s flash guidance from Statistics Canada and strength in higher frequency data so far this quarter, this points to significant upside risk to the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 1% Q/Q in 2023Q2,” Omran wrote. “This supports the case for an additional hike by the Bank of Canada to thwart the impact of a premature recovery in the housing market on excess demand and inflationary pressures, not to mention stability concerns.”

Regional housing market roundup

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



Greater Toronto Area

May 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,196,101-1.2%
New listings15,194-18.7%
Active listings11,868-23.1%

“The demand for ownership housing has picked up markedly in recent months. Many homebuyers have recalibrated their housing needs in the face of higher borrowing costs and are moving back into the market,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. “In addition, strong rent growth and record population growth on the back of immigration has also supported increased home sales. The supply of listings hasn’t kept up with sales, so we have seen upward pressure on selling prices during the spring.”

Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)

Greater Vancouver Area

May 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$1,170,700-7.4%
New listings5,661-11.5%
Active listings9,293-10.5%

“Back in January, few people would have predicted prices to be up as much as they are – ourselves included,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV Director of Economics and Data Analytics. “Our forecast projected prices to be up modestly in 2023 by about 2% at year-end. Instead, Metro Vancouver home prices are already up about 6% or more across all home types at the midway point of the year.”

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)

Montreal Census Metropolitan Area

May 2023YoY % Change
Median Price (single-family detached)$550,000-4%
Median Price (condo)$403,000-2%
New listings6,196-11%
Active listings16,089+46%

“The month of May clearly marks a return of buyers to the market encouraged by the stabilization of interest rates and prices. Moreover, homeowners are more inclined to list their property at prices more in line with recent sales of comparable properties, in a context of stabilization and even the recovery of prices,” said Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department.

“The Island of Montreal market posted an astonishing performance with a drop in sales of only 5% compared to last year. In addition, only a slight pullback in prices from last year’s peak has been experienced. This reflects renewed interest in the opportunities offered in this market,” he added.

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


May 2023YoY % Change
Benchmark price (all housing types)$557,000+2.6%
New listings3,652-15%
Active listings3,207-38.5%

“Calgary’s housing market continues to exceed expectations with the recent gain in sales activity this month,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “The higher interest rate environment and recent rental rate gains have driven more consumers to seek apartment condominium units. In addition, the recent rise in new apartment listings has provided enough options to support the sales gain. Calgary continues to benefit from the relatively healthy job market and recent population growth keeping housing demand strong across all property types.”

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)


May 2023YoY % Change
Average Price (residential property)$745,902-7%
Average Price (condominium)$442,859-6%
New listings2,822-9%

“This month we saw the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since February 2022. It is a promising year for sellers barring any interest rate adjustments, as we saw a correlated drop in sales every time there was an interest rate hike in 2022,” said OREB President Ken Dekker. “However, with only five to six weeks of inventory, we are in a strong seller’s market. With the pent-up high demand and sales volume increasing, we are likely to see upward pressure on prices as demand continues to outstrip supply.”

Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)