|Today the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing national existing-home sales rose a whopping 8.6% in October, its most robust month-over-month pace since July 2020, when the first lockdown eased briefly. This was on the heels of a modest uptick in September--the first gain since March of this year.
Sales were up month-over-month in about three-quarters of all local markets and in all major cities.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in October 2021 was down 11.5% on a year-over-year basis from the record for that month set last year. That said, it was still the second-highest ever October sales figure by a sizeable margin.
On a year-to-date basis, some 581,275 residential properties traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems from January to October 2021, surpassing the annual record of 552,423 sales for all of 2020.
"2021 continues to surprise. Sales beat last year's annual record by about Thanksgiving weekend, so that was always a lock, but I don't think too many observers would have guessed the monthly trend would be moving up again heading into 2022," said Shaun Cathcart, CREA's Senior Economist. "A month with more new listings is what allows for more sales because those listings are mostly all still getting gobbled up; however, with demand that strong, the supply of homes for sale at any given point in time continues to shrink. It is at its lowest point on record right now, which is why it's not surprising prices are also re-accelerating. We need to build more housing."
The basic story hasn't changed, even with the rise in fixed mortgage rates: Housing demand remains well more than supply. Inventories of unsold properties are at historic lows. While the Trudeau government promised to address the massive supply shortage, in reality, housing construction is under the auspices of provincial and local government planning and zoning bodies. Moreover, the resurgence of immigration will widen the excess demand gap for homes to buy or rent.