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Canada's Housing Market Sees Surge In Listings, Giving Buyers Rare Advantage

A trend may be unfolding in Canada’s housing market, as the number of active listings continued to edge upward, rising sharply in April to reach its highest point in more than five years. The numbers heralded a shift toward a more balanced market, with home prices remaining stable and sales down marginally.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported Wednesday that the National Composite Home Price Index (HPI) remained unchanged from March to April, signalling a third consecutive month of price stability. On a year over year basis, the HPI dipped 0.9 per cent, the first decline since last July.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national benchmark home price was $719,400 in April 2024, unmoved from a month ago but down 0.6 per cent from April 2023.

Meanwhile, the number of newly listed homes increased by 2.8 per cent month-over-month, which led to a 6.5 per cent rise in the overall number of properties on the market — levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this increase in inventory, sales activity dipped by 1.7 per cent between March and April 2024, slightly below the 10-year average.

“April 2023 was characterized by a surge of buyers re-entering a market with new listings at 20-year lows, whereas this spring thus far has been the opposite, with a healthier number of properties to choose from but less enthusiasm on the demand side,” CREA’s senior economist Shaun Cathcart said in the report.

CREA’s newly appointed chair of its 2024-2025 board of directors, James Mabey, said buyers currently hold a rare advantage, a scenario unseen for quite some time.

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. Given how much demand is out there, it’s hard to say how long it will last,” Mabey said in the report.

While new listings surged across most regions, London and St. Thomas bucked the trend with a 9.4 per cent decline, joined by Saskatoon at 3.1 per cent and the Niagara Region at 2.5 per cent. Meanwhile, home prices in Victoria dipped by 2.2 per cent, Newfoundland and Labrador by 1.3 per cent, and by 0.7 per cent in the Fraser Valley.

As April ended, the national sales-to-new-listings ratio eased to 53.4 per cent, a hair below the long-term average of 55 per cent. This range, typically found between 45 per cent and 65 per cent, signifies a balanced housing market, while upward or downward deviations suggest either a seller’s or buyer’s market respectively.

-Credits: Shantae Campbell (05/15/2024) Canada's Housing Market Sees Surge in Listings, Giving Buyers' Rare Advantage. Financial Post. Canada's housing market sees surge of listings | Financial Post

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