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CREA said sales fell in all markets across the country, including Ontario and BC.
Cliff Stevenson, chairman of CREA, said: although the Canadian housing market is still very active, it is beginning to balance.
But today’s market (unseasonally adjusted) sales are 256 per cent higher than in the same period last year, reflecting the huge gap between the best April in history and the worst April last year.
Real estate has been booming over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed interest rates to record lows. Coupled with the fact that the purchase demand of Canadians has been delayed by the epidemic for several months, some buyers are willing to give everything for the house they want.
COVID-19 does break the usual seasonal pattern of Canadian real estate.
At the beginning of the outbreak, shutdowns in various industries led to a collapse in property sales in March and April 2020, followed by explosive growth when it reopened in May.
In any other year, April’s sales are higher than March’s, but March 2021 is the busiest month ever. Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Bank, said the April slowdown could mark a change in direction or a short-lived signal.
“more information is needed to assess whether the market still has upward momentum, or whether it is really cooling. Sales will tend to decline in the second half of the year, and higher interest rates and stricter stress test rules will begin to attract attention, “he said.”
The number of new homes on the market fell 5.4 per cent in April compared with March. Supply and demand grew synchronously in March, followed by a simultaneous decline in April, suggesting that the slowdown in sales may be partly related to a decline in the number of listed houses.
At the end of April 2021, the country had two months of inventory, still well below the five-month long-term average.
Robert Kavcic, an economist at the Bank of Montreal, said the April figures still give a picture of a booming housing market. “even if it falls from the highest level, demand is very strong,” he said. ”
Although home sales are slowing, prices are still rising sharply. The average price of a Canadian house sold in April was C $696000, an increase of 41.9 per cent over the same period last year.