Canadian Existing-Home Sales Trend Higher in December

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced on Monday (1-15-24) that home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems increased 8.7% from November to December 2023. The actual, not seasonally adjusted number of transactions came in 3.7% above December 2022, the largest year-over-year gain since August.

CREA is reporting that on an annual basis, home sales totaled 443,511 units in 2023, a decline of 11.1% from 2022. It is the lowest annual level for national sales activity since 2008; although it was very close to levels recorded in each of the five years following 2008 financial crisis, as well as the first year the uninsured stress test was implemented in 2018.

Month-over-month, the number of newly listed homes dropped 5.1% in December, bringing them to the lowest level since June. At the end of December, there was 3.8 months of inventory on national basis. This is down from the 4.2 months recorded at the end of November (and below the long-term average of 5 months).

CREA notes that with sales up and new listings down in December, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened to 57.8% compared to just 50.5% in November. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 55%.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) declined 0.8% month-over-month in December. In line with firming market conditions, this measure was smaller than the 1% decline recorded in November and the 0.9% decrease reported in October. On a year-over-year basis, the Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI increased 0.7%, up from the 0.6% year-over-year gain posted in November.

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