The national picture
Even though sales dropped compared to the same month a year ago, August 2021 was still the second-busiest August on record, with 52,000 homes — $33 billion worth of real estate — changing hands. And the national average sale price jumped 13.3 per cent to $663,503.
CREA expects prices to keep surging. In its updated Resale Housing Market Forecast, also released Wednesday, the association says a return to pre-COVID-19 normalcy, and the increased immigration that results, will “ultimately act as tailwinds for housing demand.”
It projects the average home price in Canada will reach $680,000 this year, a 19.9 per cent annual increase, before rising to around $718,000 in 2022.
Regional real estate activity
Canada’s busiest real estate market capped off its third-strongest August on record, with sales increasing 19.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. In the first eight months of 2021, home sales are up 37.1 per cent annually.
The average August sale price in Ontario was $834,932, a 15.1 per cent year-over-year gain. Sharp price increases are a direct result of evaporating supply. New listings for the month were 30.9 per cent lower than they were a year ago; active listings for August haven’t been this low in more than thirty years.
- The average price of detached homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area was $1.4 million. The number of new listings was down 43 per cent year over year.
- In the Windsor-Essex area, the average price rose 36.4 per cent to hit $532,153.
- Ottawa’s average price increased by 18.5 per cent and now sits at just over $653,000.
- At least 17 of the real estate boards who report their results to CREA saw their benchmark sales prices rise by 30 per cent or more. In Bancroft, the benchmark was 55.6 per cent higher than it was last August.
August sales fell 7.1 per cent in B.C., with active residential listings 37.9 per cent lower than in August 2020, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association.
"Home sales around the province have essentially returned to normal after a record-setting spring," said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. "However, we continue to see a drought in the total supply of listings as well as a downward trend in new listings activity."
The average sale price in B.C. lept 17.2 per cent to $901,712. Prices rose most in the Vancouver Island (29.5 per cent), South Peace River (24.1 per cent), Kamloops (21.9 per cent) and Chilliwack (21.3 per cent) regions.
Sales dropped dramatically across Quebec, as supply constraints throttled sales across the province’s most active markets.
New supply was down 27.3 per cent in Montreal, 23.1 per cent in Quebec City and 12.1 per cent in Gatineau. Sales in each city fell by at least 23 per cent year over year, while average prices saw double-digit gains.
Further east, activity was all over the map. It fell 17.9 per cent in Prince Edward Island, inched up 5.1 per cent in Nova Scotia and rose significantly in New Brunswick (18.8 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (30.5 per cent). Canada’s sleepiest real estate markets are now the ones with the most room to grow.
Average prices in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI all rose between 16.9 per cent and 18.4 per cent. The average price in Newfoundland and Labrador, which increased 7.5 per cent to $277,407, is the lowest provincial average in Canada.
Price swings on the Prairies have been more muted, as there are still plenty of homes for buyers to choose from. Calgary led in price growth with a year-over-year average increase of 10.8 per cent ($505,447). It was joined in the top three by Winnipeg, where a 10.4 per cent increase drove the average price to $346,843, and Edmonton, where August’s average $398,191 was 8.9 per cent higher than it was a year ago.