Vancouver Real Estate Sees Another Indicator Collapse, Montreal Demand Rises

Demand for Canadian real estate is picking up in some markets, but it’s still far from where it used to be. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows the sales to new listings ratio fell across Canada in April. Markets that underperformed the national price boom in 2017, now lead demand growth. British Columbia, once the hottest region in the country, now leads lower.

Sales To New Listings Ratio

If you’re not familiar with the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR), it’s a method CREA uses to determine market balance. The ratio is what it sounds like – the ratio of sales, compared to new listings in a month. When the ratio is above 60%, the market is said to be a seller’s market – when prices rise. Below 40%, and the market is a buyer’s market, when prices are expected to fall. Between 40% and 60% is when the market is considered balanced – and prices are priced just right.

Much like any other indicator, it’s far from perfect – and exercise caution. The most obvious caveat is fast moving ratios tend to act like direction it’s heading in. A climbing balanced market can see prices rise, as people anticipate a seller’s market. A balanced market dropping, can see prices fall, as sentiment shifts. It’s always best to combine at least a few indicators to get a full read.

Southern Ontario and Quebec Real Estate Are On The Rise

Southern Ontario and Quebec real estate are seeing big improvements. Montreal made the biggest jump with an SNLR of 72%, up 6% from last year.  Ottawa followed with a ratio of 72.2%, up 4.4% from last year. Toronto came in third with a ratio of 50.4%, up 4% from last year. If you haven’t spotted the difference between the three, Toronto’s big jump puts it on the line of balanced. Whereas Montreal and Ottawa appear to be approaching tighter inventory.

Sales To New Listings Ratio

The sales to new listings ratio in Canada’s largest residential real estate markets.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

British Columbia Real Estate Continues Downward Spiral

British Columbia’s three largest real estate markets claimed the largest declines. Fraser Valley real estate printed a SNLR of 45.1%, down 23.1% from last year – the biggest drop in Canada. Vancouver followed with the SNLR hitting 39.2%, down 21.6% from last year. Victoria came in third with a ratio of 56.9%, down 14.1% from last year. Only Vancouver hit a buyers market, but all 3 made such a fast drop, they might all seem like buyers markets. There’s a visual of that warning you got earlier.

Sales To New Listings Ratio Change

The percent change in sales to new listings ratio in Canada’s largest residential real estate markets.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

For the most part, the market continues the general trend that started last last year. Cities that have trailed the national index (i.e. Ottawa, Montreal) are seeing more demand. Toronto is climbing, but mostly just from an extreme drop made last year. After all, it made a huge rise to only land on the balanced mid-mark. British Columbia is still a blood bath. The vast majority of markets are seeing lower demand than they were this time in 2017.

Like this post? Like us on Facebook for the next one in your feed.



We encourage you to have a civil discussion. Note that reads "civil," which means don't act like jerks to each other. Still unclear? No name-calling, racism, or hate speech. Seriously, you're adults – act like it.

Any comments that violates these simple rules, will be removed promptly – along with your full comment history. Oh yeah, you'll also lose further commenting privileges. So if your comments disappear, it's not because the illuminati is screening you because they hate the truth, it's because you violated our simple rules.

  • Ahmed 5 years ago

    Blanchiment d’argent. *chef’s kiss* Bon appetit, Montreal.

  • La Young 5 years ago

    Thanks for providing three years of data this time. Hard to tell what’s a equib bounce and growth when you’re just looking at one year of data. Montreal and Ottawa are seeing undeniable demand improvements. Toronto and Hamilton, hard to tell.

  • Bluetheimpala 5 years ago

    I’m on the west coast so Blue will be a little late to the game. INB4 MM…and I’m coming for you. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
    Caught your drivvle on yesterday’s post and you’re about as transparent as a snot rag. You are a shill and pumping the most ridiculous narrative I’ve ever heard in line with your predecessors (who, shockingly don’t tend to stumble in here that much anymore). You’re foreign, most likely Chinese, and praying you don’t lose face which I get but you’re clearly a plebe, the greatest of fools. Probably 10 degrees from anyone in the Politiburo and the CCP. So who did you buy overpriced condos from my little orchid? A 3rd cousin, business acquaintance or were you forced to do it because of obligations on the mainland? Xi aka Poo Bear has taken his money back to top up his money pot as the economy craters under the massive debt, my friend and you should know that which suggests to me you are even lower down the pole. The US is going to crush the chinese economy and the eurodollar squeeze is so fucking epic, it will take a decade to rebound. ADRs are down 60% from peak; your stock market is a fugazi. I’m sorry you feel the need to come here and battle people on the reg. Your family will be laughing at you shortly…take a long breath. Keep Calm and BD on. If you go, who will I play with? Tock. BD4L.

    • Grizzly Gus 5 years ago

      One bright side is that he might get his face put on to a billboard. #debtshame

    • RainCityRyan 5 years ago

      Blue! I’m crying :’D
      So glad I came today.

    • Average Man 5 years ago

      Do you think he’s an actual Chinese-based disinfo guy, or is he just an overleveraged investor desperately trying to pump his own tires and keep the gnawing doubt at bay?

      • Bluetheimpala 5 years ago

        The posts are generic and repetitive with minimal substance. He could be a shill or a troll or a sad soul with no hope; that is immaterial. Collateral damage. blue does not care, Blue eats shit for breakfast and he is a king turd. I’m the elephant Liam neeson, I don’t forget, I’m have a lot of free time and I’m kind of a psycho. He will get bored or sad and go do something else. They always do. You’d have to be nuts to keep going. Tock. BD4L.

  • Tom 5 years ago

    Stats don’t matter. Just use the Tom Vu method.

  • Faraz Khan 5 years ago

    where are the Toronto RE bears?

  • MH 5 years ago

    This one is too good to skip. A Canadian version would be even more insightful:

    I hope BD will dedicate an article to this breakthrough in RE analysis.

  • MH 5 years ago

    Rudy is on a RE roll lately (check the thread):

  • Joseph 5 years ago

    I’m waiting to find out just how active the usually active Spring real estate market is/has been this year. Will be interesting seeing the stats once May’s over.

  • Rob 5 years ago

    Ok, so some areas RE is doing very well. If so, then keep the stress test. If its the best time to buy or miss out then why is organized RE trying so hard to lobby political parties to scrap the stress test. CREA is reporting recovery stats but wants to loosen up lending.
    These people are so selfish. A small personal gain at the cost of people’s future.

    • Grim Reaper 5 years ago

      Banks, the CIBC and TD particularly, also want the stress test eliminated because their mortgage lending is seriously down. They and the real estate carpetbaggers want to feed on the public who would be CMHC insured so when theirs a recession and a consequent huge mortgage default the taxpayer will be paying for it, not the banks.

      • Rob 5 years ago

        Hey Grim,
        More to this. Look at the term “predatory lending” regarding our banks. I was surprised how deep they are involved in this housing crisis. Hopefully better dwelling does on article on this.

  • SUMSKILLZ 5 years ago

    I don’t recognize Montreal right now. It was such a slow incremental development place for so many decades, seeing it boom it just bizarre. Tiny shoots of green followed by periods of decay has been my general experience of the city.

    Just five years ago, more than eight RE agents decided to pass on my aunt’s home figuring it would be too much work to sell. It eventually did not sell for much. Today, it would have sold in a few weeks for more than she’d have believed possible. So weird, its like the 60’s again, a vibe I thought I’d never see in my lifetime. Its exciting and at the same time jarring.

Comments are closed.