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'Slowly getting back to normal': Canada real estate sales cool for third straight month in June

·2-min read
For sale sign is displayed outside a home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
For sale sign is displayed outside a home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Canada's real estate markets continue to slow in terms of sales as people look ahead to life post-pandemic, but it's still a seller's market.

"It feels like maybe the theme of this summer is 'slowly getting back to normal,' in our own lives and for many housing markets across Canada as well," said CREA senior economist Shaun Cathcart.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says sales fell 8.4 per cent month over month in June, for the third consecutive monthly decline. The slowdown was broad-based, with sales moderating in 80 per cent of markets.

"While there is still a lot of activity in many housing markets across Canada, things have noticeably calmed down in the last few months," said CREA chair Cliff Stevenson.

"There remains a shortage of supply in many parts of the country, but at least there isn't the same level of competition among buyers we were seeing a few months ago."

Even though sales are 25 per cent off the peak, June was still a record for the month. Compared to the same month last year, sales are up 13.6 per cent.

Also See: The latest real estate news for housing prices, mortgage rates, markets, luxury properties and more at Yahoo Finance Canada.

Why home prices keep going up

Although price gains are slowing, the benchmark home price index is still up 0.9 per cent compared to the previous month and 24 per cent compared to last year.

Ontario and British Columbia are up around 30 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, with the largest gains coming outside of Toronto and Vancouver. In Quebec, Montreal was up 25 per cent compared to 15 per cent in Quebec City.

New Brunswick was also up around 30 per cent. Manitoba was higher by 15 per cent and Alberta and Saskatchewan were up 10 per cent.

A key factor keeping prices elevated is supply. There were 2.3 months of inventory, which is up from 2.1 months in May but is still well below the long-term average of five months.

And it's not just an urban exodus and people looking for detached homes anymore.

"It's also notable that this is no longer just a 'hunt-for-space story', as national condo prices have accelerated into double-digit territory, up 12.2 per cent from a year ago," said BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic.

"Over the past three months, condo prices are up more than 19 per cent annualized and outperforming single-detached homes for the first time since the pandemic started."

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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