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Oct 16, 2023

September home sales slide

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems posted a 1.9 percent decline between August and September 2023. While this marked the third straight month in a row of decrease, September's drop was only about half as large as the one recorded in August, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Local market changes in sales activity were generally small in September, with declines in Greater Vancouver, BC, and the Greater Toronto, ON, Area (GTA) offsetting gains in Edmonton, AB; Montreal, QC; and the Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, region. 

"Resale housing markets have settled down pretty quickly following this spring's brief and somewhat surprising rebound in sales and prices," says Shaun Cathcart, CREA's senior economist. "With the inventory of homes for sale still historically low amid huge demand for housing in Canada, what happens next will depend on interest rates. Whether that means uncertainty about the possibility of further hikes, or just the cost of borrowing money right now, neither of these will be resolved for would-be buyers anytime soon. As such, expect a quieter than normal winter with all eyes on the Bank of Canada. We'll see how buyers are feeling when the snow starts to melt." 

The number of newly listed homes jumped 6.3 percent on a month-over-month basis in September, making for a cumulative gain of about 35 percent from the 20-year low reached back in March. New listings are trending near average levels now. 

With sales continuing to trend lower and new listings posting another sizeable gain in September, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 51.4 percent compared to 55.7 percent in August and a recent peak of 67.8 percent in April. It was the first time that this measure has fallen below its long-term average of 55.2 percent since January. 

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