National real estate market stayed red-hot in November

A flurry of activity in the nation’s real estate market resulted in sales surging by 32.1% last month compared to November 2019, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s latest statistics.

With sales north of 11,000 in November, the median price of a Canadian home reached $603,000—the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, Canada’s two most expensive real estate markets, brought the national average up by $122,000. Through the first 11 months of 2020, there were 511,449 transactions recorded on the MLS, a 10.5% year-over-year increase, which fell just shy of the January-November record, set in 2016, by 0.3%.

Residential sales in the GTA rose by 23.6% last month to 8,766 from 7,090 in November 2019, but declined by 2.1% from 9,408 in October 2020. In Greater Vancouver, residential sales increased by 23% year-over-year in November to 3,131 from 2,546, but declined by 4.7% from 3,429 during the previous month. Residential sales in Montreal surged 30.8% year-over-year last month to 5,343 from 4,084, but dropped by 1.8% from 5,558 in October.

Not even the COVID-19 pandemic effectively cancelling the spring market could halt the torrid pace of national home sales this year, which CREA anticipates will set a record. The association projects 2020 will close with 544,413 home sales in Canada, which would be an 11.1% rise over 2019, with every province except Alberta registering annual increases. If the association’s estimate holds, the average price of a Canadian home will have increased by 13.1% year-over-year in 2020.

Although CREA expects a typical monthly sales cycle throughout 2021, it predicts national sales will rise by 7.2% to 584,000. However, constrained supply in Ontario could result in fewer sales next year than in 2020. Nevertheless, housing markets in every province will benefit from low-interest rates and strengthening fundamentals.

National housing starts last month also increased on a monthly basis to 231,491 units from 222,989, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In Toronto, total housing starts rose by 43% to 2,913 in November from 2,037 during the same month last year, while starts in Vancouver increased by 19% year-over-year to 2,765 from 2,315. Housing starts in Montreal exploded on an annual basis to 3,091, a 72% increase from 1,797 in November 2019.

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