Following February’s Surge, Canadian Home Sales and New Listings Decline in March

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported today (4-19-22) that national home sales and newly available listings both declined in March 2022, after having jumped briefly higher in February. With sales and new listings falling in equal measure in March, the sales-to-new listings ratio stayed at 75.3% compared to 75.2% in February. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 55.1%.

The number of newly listed homes fell back by 5.5% on a month-over-month basis in March following a jump in February. There were 1.8 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of March 2022—up from a record-low of just 1.6 months in the previous three months. The long-term average for this measure is more than five months.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems fell back -5.4% between February and March 2022. The decline puts activity back in line with where it had been since last fall. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in March 2022 came in -16.3% below the all-time record set in March 2021. That said, as has been the case since last summer, it remains the second-highest level on record for that month.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $796,000 in March 2022, up 11.2% from the same month last year. The national average price is heavily influenced by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation in March 2022 cuts $163,000 from the national average price.

In a statement prepared to accompany the report, Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist, said:

“It was good to see a moderation in the housing markets in March, given so many observers were dreading another year of price gains like we saw 2021. There were a number of measures announced in the federal budget to help aspiring home buyers, the biggest being getting more housing built. That is the obvious long-term solution to this issue because we all need to live somewhere. In the near-term, the Bank of Canada will do the heavy lifting in the months ahead to slow things down on the price side. Unfortunately, that won’t really do anything to help affordability. Quite the opposite in fact.”

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