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GTA Home Prices Continue to Rise As New Listings Drop

Canadian home prices climbed in August as sales across the country saw a slight drop of 0.5% from July – and down by about 14% on a year-over-year basis from last August, according to the latest report from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA).

It’s the second-best August in history in terms of real estate transactions, said the CREA.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $663,500 in August 2021, up 13.3% 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.

Across the GTA, benchmark prices continued to be historically elevated, up 17.3% year over year to $1,059,300, the report states. The main factor behind the price increase is a lack of homes on the market.

Greater Toronto home buyers continued to be challenged by a steep shortage of supply, said the report.

The number of new listings plunged -42.6% in August, with 12,255 homes brought to market. That has contributed to a -2.7% decline in sales from July and a -20.2% drop from 2020, as 8,579 homes traded hands. That’s led to an SNLR of 70%, well into sellers’ market territory, and up 8.7% from the same time last year.

“Canadian housing markets appear to be stabilizing somewhere in between pre- and peak-pandemic levels – which is to say, still extremely unbalanced,” said a senior economist with the CREA.

CREA believes low inventory and rising prices are trends that will persist well into next year, especially as the vaccination rate increases, economies open, and immigration picks back up.

The organization says the national average home price is now expected to reach $680,000 this year, up 19.9% from last year. The earlier forecast had predicted an average price of nearly $678,000 for 2021.

Canadian home sales are forecast to fall by 12.1% to around 577,000 in 2022, while prices are expected to rise by 5.6% on an annual basis to reach about $718,000 next year.

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