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State of the Real Estate Market: August 2021

Sales activity understandably fell considerably from the wave of activity last August, but month-over-month sales numbers stayed relatively consistent. We are still seeing a shortage in supply, making seller’s markets still prevalent in Ontario and Alberta. 

The only two regions in the report to post year-over-year increases in sales and new listings were Calgary and Edmonton. Though these cities saw month-over-month decreases in the same areas, average selling prices remained consistent from July. Winnipeg and regions in Ontario featured in this report saw sales and new listings drop both year over year and month over month. This shows the country is still hampered by low supply. The number of transactions in August 2021 was down 14% year-over-year. That said, it was still the second-best month of August in history. [1]

Every region in the report is still in a seller’s market, although we are seeing slowdowns in the tightening of the market. The closest market to balanced conditions can be found in Calgary (sales-to-new-listings ratio at 65%). But Toronto, a much larger city, is currently sitting at a 71% sales-to-new-listing ratio, an increase from last month’s total at 64%. Experts keep pointing to more balanced conditions, and the data is starting to slowly reflect that.

With extreme shortage in supply, low interest rates, and sky-high prices, it’s clear that something has to be done to correct the market back to more balanced levels. This is where politics comes into play. According to Cliff Stevenson, Chair of : “Ideas on how to fix the housing market have taken centre stage in this election, with many long-simmering issues having had a big spotlight shone on them over the last year-and-a-half by COVID. The numbers for August provided more evidence of what many of us already knew or suspected to be the case –this housing crisis will not go away on its own."

While the consensus in the report is that the markets in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta are currently favouring sellers, most regions saw average selling prices decline month over month once again, which is typical for summer. This is very similar to last month's effects and is another indication that the break-neck pace of early spring has slowed though still very much active compared to previous years.

If you’re looking to make a purchase or planning to sell, the professional guidance and insights of an experienced REALTOR® can’t be overestimated. Speak to a local Purplebricks REALTOR® to learn about the latest trends in your area and discover how we can help you reach your real estate goals.

Ontario

Despite the fall from last year’s record levels, August home sales in Ontario totaled the third-best month in history resulting in the average price of all homes increasing into the double-digits year over year. New and active listings are still at record lows, driving competitive conditions. 

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) reports 20,578 residential transactions, coming in 2.4% above the five-year average.[2] Compared to the record-setting month of August 2020, sales were down 20%. [3] But this cool down was expected after unsustainable levels of activity last year.[4]

New residential listings totalled 24,690 across the province in August. This marked the lowest total in the month of August we’ve seen in the last 15 years. New listings dropped 31% year-over-year and 13% month-over-month, while active listings experienced similar double-digit declines. The shortage in supply drove the sales-to-new-listing ratio up 5% from last month, forcing the market farther into the sellers’ hands.

Like last month, the reduced supply did not affect the months of inventory which measures how long it would take to sell all inventory at the current rate of sales. The months of inventory increased marginally by 0.1% in August.

Overall, the average price of homes remained consistent month over month at $834,932. Year over year, the average price of a home in Ontario increased by 15%. Still, for buyers, it’s encouraging to see some slow down in month-over-month price increases.

More balanced conditions may be on the horizon.

In a seller’s market like Ontario’s, the guidance of experienced REALTORS® is an invaluable asset for both buyers and sellers. Speak to a local Purplebricks REALTOR® to learn about the latest trends in your region and discover how we can help you reach your real estate goals.

Toronto

Sellers tightened their grip on the Toronto real estate market in August, as the sales-to-new listing ratio increased by 7%. Both new and active listings are down a whopping 43% year over year, and down 18% and 13% respectively month over month. Toronto is experiencing tight market conditions and sustained competition from buyers as supply cannot keep pace with demand.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports [5][6][7]:

  • Market: Seller's Market
  • Sales: 3,003 (down 11% year over year and down 8% month over month)
  • New listings: 4,207 (down 43% year over year and down 18% month over month)
  • Active listings: 4,103 (down 43% year over year and down 13% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 71% (previous month was 64%)
  • Average days on market: 19 (up 19% year over year and up 19% month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: 1,674,641 (up 11% year over year and up 3% month over month)
  • Average semi-detached selling price: $1,214,624 (up 4% year over year and up 1% month over month)
  • Average townhouse selling price: $1,159,794 (up 6% year over year and down 1% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $720,832 (up 7% year over year and up 1% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price $1,000,008 (down 1% year over year and down 2% month over month)

Comments from TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer: “Sales have accounted for a much higher share of new listings this year compared to last, and the story was no different in August. There has been no relief on the supply side for home buyers, in fact, competition between these buyers have increased."

Peel

Peel like Toronto, moved into a stronger seller’s market in August. New and active listings were down 45% and 54% respectively, but average days on the market stayed consistent with the previous month. While the shortage in supply continues to keep demand high in most regions across Ontario, the average residential selling price increased 16% year over year and 3% month over month.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports[8][9][10]:

  • Market: Seller's Market
  • Sales: 1,805 (down 22% year over year and down 9% month over month)
  • New listings: 2,064 (down 45% year over year and down 16% month over month)
  • Active listings: 1,285 (down 54% year over year and down 19% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 87% (previous month was 81%)
  • Average days on market: 13 (down 7% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: 1,378,733 (up 24% year over year and up 1% month over month)
  • Average semi-detached selling price: $962,123 (up 20% year over year and up 3% month over month)
  • Average townhouse selling price: $881,517 (up 18% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $580,626 (up 10% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price: $1,039,500 (up 16% year over year and up 3% month over month)

Comments from TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer: “As we move toward 2022, expect market conditions to become tighter as population growth in the GTA starts to trend back to pre-COVID levels."

Ottawa

Ottawa experienced similar conditions to other parts of Ontario, with average prices for condos and residential properties rising year over year. Sales remained consistent, experiencing single-digit declines of 2% year over year and 9% month over month. Limited supply continues to drive prices up and tighten conditions.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports[11]:

  • Sales: 1,572 (down 22% year over year and down 9% month overmonth)
  • Number of condominium-class properties sold: 397 (down 9% year over year and down 4% month over month)
  • Number of residential-class properties sold: 1,175 (down 25% year over year and down 10% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $407,148 (up 6% year over year and down 3% month over month)
  • Average residential selling price: $674,449 (up 14% year over year and down 2% month over month)

Comments from OREB President Debra Wright: "The reason we see a sharp decrease compared to last year’s numbers is due to the first wave lockdown in spring 2020, which shifted that market’s peak to the summer and fall months [...] Supply continues to remain scarce, and that is the driving factor behind these price increases.”

Hamilton-Burlington

The Hamilton-Burlington region is still a seller’s market, with the sales-to-new-listing ratio increasing by 2% since last month. Sales were down both 5% month over month and year over year. The average price of all homes increased a whopping 21% from August 2020 and only fell 1% compared to July 2021. Critically low inventory continues to put a strain on this region.

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports[12]:

  • Market: Seller's Market
  • Sales: 1,201 (down 5% year over year and down 5% month over month)
  • New listings: 1,279 (down 15% year over year and down 9% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 94% (previous month was 92%)
  • Average selling price in Hamilton: $779,486 (up 18% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Average selling price in Burlington: $1,046,652 (up 21% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Average selling price in Niagara North: $862,675 (up 31% year over year and down 2% month over month)
  • Average selling price in Haldimand County: $807,923 (up 45% year over year and up 14% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price: $839,881 (up 21% year over year and down 1% month over month)

Comments from RAHB President Donna Bacher: “In line with seasonal trends, July and August tend to have fewer new listings and sales which is exactly the case here…Even though we have fewer active listings and sales, we are also seeing a slight dip in the average sale price. Overall, the same story continues and that is that the level of inventory remains at critical low levels. We definitely need more supply on the market.”

Niagara 

It’s still a seller’s market in Niagara! Currently, demand outweighs supply driving average year-over-year prices for all residential properties up 36%. The number of sales remained virtually consistent with the previous month, falling 1% from July 2021 and 2% from August 2020. Some cooling over the past few months do point to potentially more balanced conditions in the future.

The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports[13]:

  • Market: Seller's Market
  • Sales: 740 (down 24% year over year and down 1% month over month)
  • New listings: 872 (down 24% year over year and down 12% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 85% (previous month was 76%)
  • Average days on market: 20 (down 44% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in St. Catharines: $619,800 (up 37% year over year and up 1% month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in Niagara Falls: $605,700 (up 36% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in Welland: $527,600 (up 33% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in Fort Erie: $545,800 (up 33% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • Overall benchmark price for a home in the Niagara Region: $657,400 (up 34% year over year and up 1% month over month)

Comments from NAR President Doug Rempel: “Last year was different because of the pandemic lockdown, we experienced the “spring market” in June and July. It’s still a seller’s market. There are still plenty of buyers out there and demand still outweighs supply but there has been some cooling over the previous month, and a slight shift away from a tight seller’s market to a more balanced model is emerging.”

Alberta

Despite market slowdowns experienced across the country due to limited supply, Alberta is still on pace to reach record sales levels this year. Alberta’s real estate market continued to favour the seller in August. Average price, the number of homes sold, and new listings all went up year-over-year. However, the same categories went down by 10% or less compared to last month showing some typical seasonality where the market slows in the summer months.

The sales-to-new-listing ratio in Alberta remained relatively consistent from last month, only increasing by 2% in August. New listings are up 5% year over year but did experience a 10% decline from last month. Still, the number of homes sold is 18% higher than last year.

Though sales across the province dropped by 7% compared to July,[14] August’s total of 6,890 keeps Alberta on pace for a record-setting year. According to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), “While this is not an uncommon activity for August, it is important to note that the Alberta sales are still on pace to reach record levels this year. Any adjustments occurring in supply were not enough to offset the demand, and the market continues to favour the seller.” 

Average selling prices held steady in August. Across the province, the average selling price for all home types grew 4% year over year and decreased only 2% month over month to $417,321.

Calgary

Calgary is still in a seller’s market with the number of sales increasing 37% year over year, and on a year-to-date basis this is the hottest market Calgary has seen in over six years. Most home types saw sizeable month-over-month average selling prices gains, while new listings were up 14% compared to July. This is indicative of sellers wanting to capitalize on these favourable market conditions.
 
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) reports[15][16]

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 2,151 (up 37% year over year and down 7% month over month) 
  • New listings: 2,822 (up 10% year over year and down 14% month over month) 
  • Active listings: 6,053 (down 7% year over year and down 9% month over month) 
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 76% (previous month was 70%) 
  • Average price for a detached home: $590,784 (up 7% year over year and up 9% month over month) 
  • Average price for a semi-detached home: $490,464 (down 1% year over year and up 14% month over month) 
  • Average price for a townhouse: $318,977 (up 4% year over year and up 6% month over month) 
  • Average price for a condo: $258,609 (up 3% year over year and up 2% month over month) 
  • Overall average price for a home: $488,043 (up 4% year over year and at parmonth over month) 

Comments from CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie: “Sales have far exceeded expectations throughout most of the pandemic, driven mostly by demand for detached homes. At the same time, supply could not keep pace and conditions shifted to favour the seller, something that has not happened in over six years.”

Edmonton

Though the city is still in a seller’s market, we are finally seeing some balance to residential unit sales and pricing. The average residential selling price is up only 3% year over year and is down 1% month over month. Slight decreases in month-to-month activity could signal a balanced market is on the horizon.

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports[17]

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 2,056 (up 10% year over year and down 7% month over month) 
  • New listings: 3,177 (up 13% year over year and down 6% month over month) 
  • Active listings: 7,689 (down 2% year over year and down 4% month over month) 
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 65% (previous month was 64%) 
  • Average days on market: 42 (down 19% year over year and up 8% month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: $460,963 (up 5% year over year and down 1% month over month) 
  • Average duplex selling price: $355,326 (up 4% year over year and down 1% month over month) 
  • Average condo selling price: $227,559 (down 1% year over year and down 5% month over month) 
  • Average residential selling price: $384,874 (up 3% year over year and down 1% month over month)

Comments from RAE Chair Tom Shearer: "The year-over-year residential unit sales in the GEA were higher than August of last year, while we have started to see slight decreases in the month-to-month activity. The market is starting to balance out after a very busy 18 months with pricing increasing a nominal amount year over year.”

Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.

Randall Weese is the Director of Compliance and Brokerage Services at Purplebricks, where he is also the licensed Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta, and Associate Broker for Manitoba. A REALTOR® with 14 years’ experience in Ontario, Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area. Throughout his career, he has acted as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country.

 

 

Statistics presented herein are rounded to the nearest whole number for readability. Exact statistics can be found using the references provided. †The Canadian Real Estate Association calculates benchmark prices using the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which uses data from a region to define a “typical” home. Benchmark prices can reflect the changes to a region’s property value far more accurately than average or median prices. Statistics presented herein are rounded to the nearest whole number for readability. Exact statistics can be found using the references provided.