Canadian real estate data confirms the anecdotes — the market was busier than ever. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) sales reached a new all-time high in March. The record is for any month of home sales, not just for the time of year. Annual growth was also the highest ever, beating even annual growth in 2009.
Canadian Real Estate Sales Hit A Record High
Canadian real estate sales printed a whack of records, but the key is volume and growth. CREA reported 69,421 seasonally adjusted sales in March, up 5.2% from a month before. Unadjusted, home sales came in at a mind-blowing 76,259 sales in March, up 76.2% from the same month a year before. This an all-time high for any month, and as you can see — this isn’t just a pandemic-related skew.
Canadian Real Estate SalesThe unadjusted sales for all home types, as reported through the Canadian MLS. Source: CREA; Better Dwelling.
Canadian Home Sales Increased 76%
The rate of growth reached a record high as well, with nothing like this since the Great Recession. The 76.2% unadjusted 12-month increase in March is the highest for any month since 2009. CREA points out this is skewed higher due to the lockdown that impacted the last week of March 2020. However, last March wasn’t as slow as many think it was — as you can see above.
Canadian Real Estate Sales ChangeThe annual percent chage of unadjusted sales for all home types, as reported through the Canadian MLS. Source: CREA; Better Dwelling.
BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said, “You don’t like the comparison to a year ago, because that marked the start of the shutdowns? Okay, sales last month were more than 80% above the March 2019 level.”
April home sales will be subject to a significant low-base effect. This is when an unusually small number in the previous period is compared to a strong number in the current one. The effect makes growth look like it’s picking up steam, even if the locomotive is still parked. Small growth can look astronomical in these situations.
May home sales should reflect this trend as well. By June, some tapering should begin to show. In 2020, home sales were very strong in the second half of the year. This will have the opposite effect we’re currently seeing, as 2021 gets closer to the end of the year. Even if home sales don’t cool.
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