Canadian House Sales Increased Despite a Decline in Fresh Supply

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In January and February of 2023, the Canadian MLS® System saw an increase of 2.3% in house sales. Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) dominate the growth. The real (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in February 2023 was 40% lower than the extraordinarily healthy month of February 2022. February 2023 sales were comparable to February 2018 and February 2019 sales.

Compared to the previous month, the number of newly listed homes dropped by 7.9% in February. This was due to double-digit drops in many important areas, especially Ontario. In February, the ratio of sales to new listings jumped to 58.4%, the highest level since April of the previous year. The long-term average for this measure is 55.1%.


By the end of February 2023, the national inventory was at 4.1 months, down from 4.2 months at the end of January. That was the first time since the fall of 2021 that the measure showed signs of tightening. In addition, it is below its long-term average by one month. The aggregate composite MLS® house price index (HPI) decreased 1.1% month-over-month in February 2023, which was almost half the loss recorded the previous month and the smallest monthly reduction since March of last year. The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI is 15.8% below its peak in February 2022.

Prices are lower than the national average compared to their peaks in most of Ontario and a few parts of British Columbia. Prices are lower elsewhere. While prices have decreased to some degree practically everywhere, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, and St. John’s stand out for having housing costs that are just marginally below their peaks. In the fall of 2017, prices began to stabilize in the Maritimes. Now, it seems that a lot of Ontario markets are following suit. In February 2023, the actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average home price was $662,437, down 18.9% from its record high in February 2022 but up more than $50,000 from its January level due to sales increases in the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. The national average price in February 2023 decreased by about $135,000 due to the exclusion of these two regions.

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