The average price of a home sold on the Canadian Real Estate Association’s MLS service went for $604,000 in September, an all-time record and an increase of more than 17 per cent in the past year.
The group that represents 130,000 Canadian realtors says that in addition to smashing the previous record on the price side, it was also the busiest September ever in terms of the volume of homes sold, with an additional 20,000 transactions logged on top of the previous record.
Thursday’s numbers are the latest eye-popping figures to come out about Canada’s housing market, which has defied expectations since March.
The pandemic caused home sales to crater in March and April because of widespread lockdowns, but has come out on fire every month since.
“What happens when you mix pent-up demand, a work-from-home push for space and record-low mortgage rates? A white-hot housing market and a record level of September sales,” Bank of Montreal economist Benjamin Reitzes said in a note to clients.
Lockdowns have ignited a desire for more space in buyers, which is why detached properties in suburbs around major cities are driving the gains. “Home has been our workplace, our kids’ schools, the gym, the park and more,” CREA’s chief economist Shaun Cathcart said. “Personal space is more important than ever.”
But after a torrid run, Reitzes is starting to wonder if the boom can continue.
“The pent-up demand has been spent,” he said. “We’ll see if the other factors driving sales are enough to maintain the record monthly pace.”