CREA: January 2021 Home Sales Set All-Time Record

Canadian housing markets set records again in January

The Canadian Real Estate Association released their January 2021 National Sales Report yesterday. The statistics show another month setting an all time record.

The key points from the report are:
  • National home sales rose 2% on a month-over-month basis.
  • Actual activity was up 35.2% year-over-year.
  • The number of newly listed properties dropped by 13.3% from December 2020 to January 2021.
  • The actual national average sale price posted a 22.8% year-over-year gain.


National Residential Statistics
National Residential Statistics
Number of Home Sales

According to CREA, seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 736,452 units in January. This is significantly above their current 2021 forecast of 583,635.

According to the report sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets. Among the 11 markets that posted declines, 9 were in Ontario. However, it is important to note that supply is extremely limited in those markets at the moment.

According to the Chair of CREA, Costa Poulopoulos, “2021 started off just like 2020 ended, with a number of key housing market indicators continuing to set records. The two big challenges facing housing markets this year are the same ones we were facing last year. COVID and a lack of supply. It’s looking like our collective efforts to bring those COVID cases down over the last month and a half are working. With luck, some potential sellers who balked at wading into the market last year will feel more comfortable listing this year.”

CREA’s Senior Economist, Shaun Cathcart, noted “We’re unlikely to see a rush of listings until the weather and public heath situations improve. We won’t see buyers until those homes come up for sale. The best case scenario would be if we see a lot of sellers who were gun-shy to engage in the market last year making a move this year.”

Number of New Listings

The number of newly listed homes dropped by 13.3% in January. This was led by double-digit declines in a number of markets. Including;

  • the GTA
  • Hamilton-Burlington
  • London and St. Thomas
  • Ottawa
  • Montreal
  • Quebec
  • Halifax Dartmouth

With sales edging higher and new supply falling considerably in January, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened to 90.7%.

This is the highest level on record for the measure by a significant margin.

The previous monthly record was 81.5% set 19 years ago.

Monthly Inventory

The number of months of inventory is another important measure. It represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

According to CREA there were only 1.9 months of inventory. This is the lowest reading on record for this measure.

Here in Ontario there were 35 markets with under one month of inventory.

Price Gains
National Residential Statistics

Price gains were impressive as well. CREA noted the following groupings of price increases;

  • Above 30%: Lakelands region of Ontario cottage country (Northumberland Hills, Quinte & District, Tillsonburg Distrist and Woodstock-Ingersoll)
  • 25-30%: Barrie, Niagara, Grey-Bruce Owen Sound, Huron Perth, Kawartha Lakes, London & St. Thomas, North Bay, SImcoe & District and Southern Georgian Bay.
  • 20-25%: Hamilton, Guelph, Oakville-Milton, Bancroft and Area, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Ottawa and Greater Moncton
  • 16-17%: Montreal
  • 10-15%: Vancouver Island, Chilliwack, the Okanagan Valley, Winnipeg, the GTA and Mississauga
  • 5-10%: Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Regina and Saskatoon

The actual national average home price was a record $621,525, up 22.8% from the same month last year.

CREA notes that the national average price is heavily influenced by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA. These are two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding them from calculations cuts $129,000 from the national average price.

If you’d like to check out the full report click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help!

I also posted this month’s Market Watch from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board last week. If you are curious about what is happening around the GTA, click here.

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