Canadian Real Estate Sales See Worst August Since 2013

Canadian real estate sales continue to cool, after spending years at record highs. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show August sales came in lower. That’s on top of last year’s declines, making it the slowest August since 2013.

Canadian Real Estate Sales See Slowest August Since 2013

Canadian real estate sales experienced a small decline, but on top of last year’s decline. CREA reported 41,151 unadjusted sales in August, down 3.78% compared to the same month last year. This represents the worst August since 2013, when Canada had an oil slump. Yes, we’re seeing sales nearly as bad as an oil slump while the economy is booming on paper.

Canadian Real Estate Sales

The unadjusted sales of all types of homes, as reported through the Canadian MLS.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The Fastest Growing Real Estate Markets

Only three markets with more than 500 monthly sales saw an increase, so they’re all winners this month. Montreal reported 3,224 sales in August, up 8.48% from last year. Toronto reported 6,839 sales, up 7.58% from last year. Ottawa reported 1,619 sales, up 4.05% from last year. Those numbers all look like huge growth, especially in this environment.

The reasons these markets are booming is also worth nothing. Ottawa and Montreal didn’t benefit from the Great Canadian real estate buying binge. The rise in sales is almost a normal looking catching up on growth. Toronto’s huge jump is attributed to the fact that August 2017 was one of the worst on record for the city – easy to beat.

Canadian Real Estate Sales By Market

Canadian real estate sales in markets with more than 500 sales.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The Fastest Shrinking Real Estate Markets Are All In BC

The fastest shrinking sales numbers were all located in British Columbia. Fraser Valley reported 1,102 sales in August, a massive 39.52% decline from last year. Vancouver reported 1,961 sales, down 36.7% from last year. Victoria reported 570 sales, down 17.63% from last year. China’s capital controls, prices detached from local incomes, and anti-speculation measures are taking their toll on sales numbers.

Canadian Real Estate Sales Change By Market

The percent change in Canadian real estate sales, in markets with more than 500 sales.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The decline in Canadian real estate sales was expected coming off of record years. Despite the expectation, it’s still a little strange. The last time they were this bad, the economy wasn’t doing nearly as well.

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  • Hui 3 years ago

    Good point with Toronto. Just looked it up, last August was the worst in 17 years. The “recovery” everyone is talking about is the second worst in 17 years. 🤦‍♂️

  • Dr. Predicto 3 years ago

    September is going to be amazing. You heard it here first.

  • John 3 years ago

    This isn’t bearish enough for me to get in still. When I see a generation of wealth erased from housing gains. That’s when I’m in. We’re only at 2015 levels. I want to see 2000 housing price levels before I buy. Canadians are strapped out doing me a great favour to buy in a market when everyone for the past 30 years knew houses only go up. People can’t miss a paycheque. Can’t pay for a car repair. Without maxing themselves out. This year is the most coworkers I’ve seen lose jobs. And with that over time the bills will stack up. Huge beer market coming in about 2 years.

    • John 3 years ago

      I too look forward to the beer market!

    • Beh G. 3 years ago

      Barring a total economic collapse on a global scale similar to the Great Depression, there´s absolutely no way we will see house prices at 2000 or even 2005 levels John.

      IMHO, at most the prices will drop to 2010 levels in inflation adjust terms which is about a 50% correction off the peak. Of course there may be larger drops in specific localities (e.g. King City in Ontario is already in pretty rough shape) but on the national, provincial or even metropolitan level the correction is not going to be bigger than that.

  • Rick Abrams 3 years ago

    Sensible people should WANT housing prices will vacillate.

    • Rick Abrams 3 years ago

      oops, Sensible people should WANT housing prices to vacillate.

  • D. Page 3 years ago

    It’s very sad people like John want see retired people, all the many building trades, hard working people who save to buy homes lose their lives savings. Not to mention the provinces and municipalities budgets that rely on revenue based on housing values, permits and fees etc to pay for public sector wages and programs such as medical care, transportation and social housing for John. Fortunately there’s enough people coming from abroad that appreciate our Canadian lifestyle and jobs to support our housing values.

    • john 3 years ago

      Not if it comes from irresponsible spending/borrowing and/or speculative investments that artificially push prices up making it impossible for people who simply want a place to live, to buy a house.

  • carlton 3 years ago

    No one pumping real estate today? SCE where you at? didn’t need comical relief today? I guess this story doesn’t fit your narrative ….. lol

    Till infinity brother!

  • Bluetheimpala 3 years ago

    Watch oh watch the players play with all their smiles today’s the day. As winter comes the cold is near, hush my pet no time to fear. Tick tock. BD4L.

  • Dwayne 3 years ago

    China. The US tariffs against Chinese goods will crash the Canadian Realestate market. They are going into full effect end of this month. Trump has no real plans to negotiate with china, his intention is to shrink the US reliance on them. Many Chinese have “parked” their funds in Canada and will leave us when the conditions are no longer favourable for them personally, which may be soon if the tariffs have the effect of shirking of Chinese economy. China’s citizens like to keep investments away from their communist handlers.

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