Canada real estate: “wildcard” dealt by COVID-19 cited as September home sales rise 46 percent for new record

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      “This is starting to sound like a broken record,” says Shaun Cathcart, senior economist with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

      Cathcart was talking “about records being broken” in the residential property market amid COVID-19.

      But Canadian home sales and prices set records once again in September, Cathcart said, “as they did in July and August”.

      According to the CREA, home sales across the country rose 45.6 percent in September compared to the same month in 2019.

      In a news release Thursday (October 15), the association said that last month’s transactions represent a “new record for the month of September by a margin of some 20,000 transactions”.

      According to the CREA, that’s the “equivalent of a normal month of September with an entire month of December tacked on”.

      The national average sale price also marked a 17.5 percent year-over-year increase in September 2020.

      In the CREA news release, Cathcart noted that there have been a number of reasons cited for the flourishing real estate market amid the pandemic.

      These include “pent-up demand from the lockdowns, Government support to date, ultra-low interest rates, and the composition of job losses to name a few”.

      “I would also remind everyone that sales were almost setting records and markets were almost this tight back in February so we were already close to where things are now, as far away from Goldilocks territory as we had ever been before,” Cathcart said.

      “But I think another wildcard factor to consider, which has no historical precedent,” Cathcart continued, “is the value of one’s home during this time.”

      “Home has been our workplace, our kids’ schools, the gym, the park and more. Personal space is more important than ever,” the CREA economist said.

      For the first nine months of 2020, or from January to September, the CREA has recorded 402,578 home sales.

      The figure constitutes a 5.8 percent increase compared to the first nine months of 2019.

      “Many Canadian housing markets are continuing to see historically strong levels of activity as we enter into the fall market of this very strange year,” CREA chair Costa Poulopoulos said in the news release.

      The national average home price set another record in September 2020.

      It topped the $600,000 mark for the first time at more than $604,000, according to the CREA.

      Compared to August, last month’s sales posted a “small change”, which was a 0.9 percent increase.

      “Increases in Ottawa, Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Calgary and Hamilton-Burlington sales were mostly offset by declines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal,” according to the CREA.