Canadian Housing Market Balances as Rising Inventory Signals Prime Buying Opportunities: CREA

Canadian Housing Market Balances as Rising Inventory Signals Prime Buying Opportunities: CREA

Canadian homebuyers are benefiting from increased choice this spring as housing inventory levels surge across the country. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national new listings reached 91,754 in April, a year-over-year increase of 34.9% and a month-over-month increase of 20.7%. This is the highest number of new listings in April in three years and indicates the housing market is stabilizing. 

“After a long hibernation, the spring market is now officially underway. The increase in listings is resulting in the most balanced market conditions we’ve seen at the national level since before the pandemic,” said James Mabey, newly appointed Chair of CREA’s 2024-2025 Board of Directors. “Mortgage rates are still high, and it remains difficult for a lot of people to break into the market but, for those who can, it’s the first spring market in some time where they can shop around, take their time, and exercise some bargaining power.” 

Ontario Cities Experiencing A Large Bump in New Listings

Sellers across Canada are coming out to list their properties this spring, resulting in an influx of new listings from coast to coast. Notably, several Ontario cities are experiencing huge year-over-year increases in inventory, such as in Kitchener-Waterloo, where new listings were up by 71.3%. Greater TorontoOttawaLondon and St. Thomas, and Hamilton-Burlington all also experienced an impressive year-over-year increase, with new listings in each rising by over 38%. 

Inventory levels in in-demand markets like Calgary and Edmonton are not increasing at the same pace as other cities, however, new listings are still up year-over-year by 11.3% and 12.8% respectively. 

Month-over-month new listings gains were also experienced across the country, with Halifax and Vancouver leading the way with increases of 55.7% and 41.7% respectively. In Ontario, new listings increased by over 20% from March in nearly all major markets including Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, and Kitchener-Waterloo. 

Despite Sales Increasing, Market Conditions Not Yet Competitive 

Higher interest rates are not stopping Canadians from entering the spring market. Month-over-month home sales have increased in every major market besides Quebec City, where sales dropped by 5.2%. Nationally sales are up 14.5% month-over-month and 10.1% year-over-year. Activity picked up quite a bit in the Prairies, with ReginaSaskatoon, Winnipeg, and Edmonton experiencing month-over-month sales increases of more than 25%. 

In Ontario, month-over-month sales increases were not quite as high, though they did experience positive gains. In Toronto, month-over-month sales increased by 8.4%, while in Hamilton-Burlington sales were up by 15.1%. 

Outside of the Prairies, where competition is still exceedingly tight, many major markets in Canada have a sales-to-new listings ratio between 45% and 65%, marking balanced conditions. This includes Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and Ottawa. However, the two largest markets in the country, Vancouver and Toronto, both have sales-to-new listings ratios of under 45%, indicating a buyers’ market. “With conditions favouring buyers in many major markets, this may be a good time to jump into what would normally be very competitive spring conditions in Vancouver and Toronto. Buyers may find that they have stronger negotiating power and can browse for properties at a more leisurely pace considering we are at a high in terms of inventory availability,” explains Carrie Lysenko, CEO of Zoocasa.  

Home Prices Showing a Moderate Rise

As inventory rises, competition has softened this spring, leading to stable home prices across most markets. The national benchmark price was up 0.9% from March, reaching $735,900. Halifax-Dartmouth experienced the largest price gain, with the benchmark price increasing by 3.4% from March to $547,400, while in Ontario, most benchmark prices were up by just around 1% month-over-month. 

Market conditions vary from region to region however, so if you’re thinking of entering the market, it’s important to speak with a local real estate agent to learn about conditions in your specific area. If you’re ready to talk about your 2024 real estate goals, give us a call today!




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