Buyers Falling Faster than Sellers in Canada

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Key Highlights

  • Sales to New Listing Ratio (SNLR) beginning to change in Canadian housing market
  • Declines in SNLR seen nationally and in majority of major markets

Buyers Bailing Out of Market Faster than Sellers Coming In

New resale inventory throughout Canada has been coming into the housing market faster than home sales over the last several months, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

In April alone, the Sales to New Listing Ratio (SNLR) dropped -6.1 points from March, a seasonally adjusted 75.2%.  Even though this is a comparatively high rate, this is a sharp decline from January’s rate of 90.87%.

Only nine major markets throughout Canada saw the SNLR increase in April.

Markets with SNLR Increase in April 2021

The major Canadian real estate markets that experienced a monthly SNLR increase in April included:

  • Saguenay
  • Thunder Bay
  • Winnipeg
  • Saint John
  • Niagara
  • Calgary
  • Montreal
  • Regina
  • Newfoundland

Montreal and Edmonton were even up with March’s numbers.

Markets in Ontario and Quebec Cooling Fastest

The fastest cooling markets in Canada are extremely tight on inventory.

Within those markets, Ottawa saw the biggest SNLR drop of 75.6% in April, down a whopping -25.6 points from March.

Gatineau followed Ottawa’s decline with 77.8%, down –16.7 points and Hamilton experienced a SNLR reading of 72.5%, a decrease of 15.8 points from March.

All three of these markets have seen home prices soar over these past few months…perhaps buyers were hoping for price breaks?

Toronto and Vancouver Seeing Buyers Dropping Faster than Sellers

Toronto’s SNLR dropped -6.2 points from March to 65.9% in April.  The SNLR ratio for this region is now the third lowest among Canada’s major housing markets.

Vancouver’s SNLR outperformed Toronto’s a bit in April by coming in at 68.1% despite falling -12.2 points from March numbers.

Will Home Price Growth Finally Slow?

Canadian housing inventory remains tight…just not quite a tight as it was a few months ago.  Now that sales are beginning to slip, according to April’s latest SNLR, some industry experts are predicting that home price growth may slow in the coming months.

On the other hand, buyers shouldn’t get too excited too quickly about the potential of home prices slowing down.  Industry experts say that home prices have a “big cushion for deceleration.”

According to the CREA, the April national home price index was +23.1% higher than one year earlier plus the pace of those home price gains is now much higher than previous surges in 2006-07 and 2016-17.


Thanks to BetterDwelling, TheGlobeandMail and the Canadian Real Estate Association

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