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Ongoing high borrowing costs continue to weigh on Canada’s real estate markets with activity stagnating heading into fall, a new report shows.
RBC Economics recently published a study that found sales across Canada in August fell for the second month in a row, down about four per cent from July.
British Columbia saw the largest decline with sales in August from July falling 12 per cent in the Fraser Valley falling, about 11 per cent in Victoria and nearly nine per cent in Vancouver.
The report noted that the Greater Toronto Area saw a modest decline of one per cent month over month, but surrounding municipalities like Hamilton-Burlington saw sales drop 11 per cent.
Additionally, the sales-to-new-listings ratio decreased to 56 per cent nationally, indicating that markets are largely balanced between buyers and sellers.
That’s compared with August 2021 when the ratio was at 71 per cent, indicating a national market that generally favoured sellers. (A ratio above 60 per cent is considered a seller’s market.)
Despite falling demand, the average home price still increased. That said, the report noted that the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Home Price Index showed average prices gained only 0.4 per cent month over month, the lowest gain in five months.
The year-over-year price gain was also 0.4 per cent with Halifax and Calgary seeing the highest increases at nearly 10 per cent and about seven per cent, respectively.
Calgary also was the only city in the study to see significant sales gains in August, up four per cent from July.
Sales were also up nearly 25 per cent compared with August last year in Calgary. Similarly, Edmonton saw sales up nearly 20 per cent year over year while Vancouver sales grew 22 per cent.
Nationally, sales were up about five per cent in August from last year, with Toronto sales weighing on the market overall, declining six per cent.
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