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State of the Real Estate Market: May 2021

June 17, 2021

Soaring sales in March and April may have marked the crescendo of buyer demand in many local markets around the country as May saw numbers trend gently down. Nevertheless, market conditions remained tight, with limited supply continuing to put upward pressure on prices relative to one year ago.

As in April, year-to-year sales and new listings in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba were well above the lows recorded during the first wave of the pandemic. But, like sales, new listings generally pulled back from larger numbers seen earlier in the year, with only four of the 21 regions in this report posting increases above 1% month over month (Ontario’s Windsor, Sarnia and Grey County, as well as Winnipeg, Manitoba, with new listings up between 6% and 9% in May). The majority of markets saw new listings fall anywhere from 1-19% since April, with the greatest decline occurring in Brantford, Ontario.

With sales and new listings easing back from the breakneck pace seen previously in the pandemic, active listings (or available supply) tended to see small variations month over month, offering scant hope to buyers awaiting an inventory boom. Six regions posted inventory gains from April in the double digits (the highest being in Grey County and Windsor, both at 25%), but after so many months of dwindling supply, active listings in many local markets are still at some of their lowest levels in decades.

While each region in this report appeared to favour sellers in May, accelerating price hikes have slowed, with average prices hovering close to April’s. In Ontario, Grey County and Huron and      Perth Counties saw the largest month-to-month gains at 7%, while the largest decline occurred in Brantford, where the average selling price fell 3%. In Alberta, Calgary saw virtually no change from April, while Edmonton posted a price increase of 3%. And although the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board doesn’t report on the overall average selling price like other boards, it does point out that the price of detached homes rose by 1% month over month.

Though it’s becoming increasingly common to hear that the market is “cooling,” it should be noted that easing back from record-breaking numbers isn’t the equivalent of becoming sluggish. Most markets are still seeing historically low inventories and above-average sales, making buying a home challenging for many.

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.

Please see the regional reports, below, for links to all source materials.

Map of Ontario with purple 'pins' indicating real estate listings

Ontario

May was another hot month in Ontario real estate! Though market activity pulled back somewhat from the levels seen earlier in the year, strong buyer demand continues to challenge supply levels and is keeping prices high.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) reports 28,046 residential transactions, coming in 24% above the five-year average and setting a new record for the month of May.[1] Compared to May 2020 – the second full month of the pandemic – sales more than doubled (up 109%) but fell 8% compared to strong numbers in April of this year.[2]

New listings across the province also slowed by 8% month to month at 39,514, leaving the sales-to-new-listings ratio unchanged at 71%. But, with boosted supply levels from March and April, months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all inventory at the current rate of sales) was nudged higher, going from 0.8 in April to 0.9.

Of the 17 Ontario regions in this report, only Toronto, York and Grey Bruce-Owen Sound reported months of inventory over one month, while the lowest level of 0.6 months was reported in Durham, London, Brantford, Guelph and Sarnia.

Across the province, the number of available homes going into June reflects recent surges in new listings but was the lowest it’s been in the month of May in more than three decades. At 25,576, active listings were down 21% year over year and up 8% month over month.

With slightly more inventory and relaxed sales, Ontario prices tended to hover close to last month’s averages. The greatest price fluctuations in this report’s regions occurred in Brantford, where the average selling price fell 3% month over month, and in both Huron and Perth Counties and Grey County, where prices grew 7% over the same period. Provincially, the average residential selling price was up 38% compared to a year ago and down less than half a per cent from April at $866,307.

Toronto

May was another hot month on the Toronto real estate market! Though sales ebbed from the March peak, strong competition among buyers and renewed fervor in the condo market put upward pressure on prices.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 4,118 residential sales in the City of Toronto in May.[3] This was a 176% increase over May 2020, when real estate markets were heavily impacted by the first wave of the pandemic.[4]

Compared to April of this year, sales decreased by 12%,[5] a downward trend seen across the Greater Toronto Area. TRREB President Lisa Patel notes this is likely due to “the absence of a normal pace of population growth.”

Like sales, the number of homes coming onto the market was well above last year’s level but lower than what’s been seen in recent months. At 7,051, new listings were up 113% year over year and down 6% month over month. But, with sales decreasing at a faster rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) eased down from 71% in March[6] and 63% in April to a less-intense 58% in May.

The pace of sales continued at a similar rate to the month prior, with the average days on market climbing from 11 days in April to 12 days, and months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) edging down from 1.7 months to 1.6 over the same period.

Active listings at the end of May came in at 5,196, up 30% year over year and up an encouraging 12% month over month, indicating that supply levels are gradually going up. However, TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer points out that in the GTA, “people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices.” This competition, he notes, is creating “tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well.”

For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price was up 21% year over year and 1% month over month at $1,716,272. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 16% year over year and 1% month over month to $1,326,153. For townhomes, the average price advanced 21% year over year and 1% month over month to $1,226,639. For condo apartments, the average price was up 6% and down 1% over the same periods to $716,976.

The average selling price for all home types in the city was $1,116,736, up 17% compared to May 2020 and 3% compared to April.

Peel

Peel continued its hot streak this May! Though sales came in below the March peak, strong competition among buyers continues to put upward pressure on prices.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 2,379 residential sales in Peel Region in May.[7] This was a 157% increase over May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic greatly reduced activity in the Ontario market.[8]

Compared to April of this year, sales decreased by 13%,[9] a downward trend seen across the Greater Toronto Area. This, according to TRREB President Lisa Patel, is likely tied to “the absence of a normal pace of population growth.”

So too, the number of homes coming onto the market in May was well above last year’s level but lower than what’s been seen in recent months. At 3,728, new listings were up 112% year over year and down 12% month over month. With new listings decreasing at the same rate as sales, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) dropped by just 1% from April to 64%, down only slightly from 67% in March 2021.[10]

Accordingly, the pace of sales was almost unchanged from the month prior, with the average days on market climbing from 10 days in April to 11 days, and months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) remaining constant at one month.

At the end of May, active listings numbered 2,179, up 10% year over year and 3% month over month, which is a hopeful indication that supply levels are going up. However, TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer points out that in the GTA, “people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices.” This competition, he notes, is creating “tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well.”

For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price was up 37% year over year and 3% month over month at $1,361,014. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 23% year over year and just under half a per cent month over month to $927,740. For townhomes, the average price increased 20% year over year and decreased 1% month over month to $846,334. For condo apartments, the average price was up 15% and down by less than half a per cent over the same periods to $564,062.

The average selling price for all home types in Brampton was up 26% year over year and down 1% month over month to $997,693, while across the Peel region, it grew 31% year over year and 2% month over month to $1,055,907.

Durham

It’s still a seller’s market in Durham! Though May sales couldn’t catch peak numbers in March, strong competition among buyers continues to put upward pressure on prices.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 1,574 residential sales in Durham this May.[11] This was a 104% increase over May 2020, when the real estate activity was virtually paused during the first wave of the pandemic.[12]

Compared to April of this year, sales decreased by 11%,[13] a downward trend seen across the Greater Toronto Area. This, according to TRREB President Lisa Patel, is likely tied to “the absence of a normal pace of population growth.”

Like sales, the number of homes coming onto the market in May was well above last year’s level but below what’s been seen in recent months. At 2,048, new listings were up 80% year over year and down 12% month over month. With sales and new listings decreasing at nearly the same rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) moved up by just 1% from April to 77%, up from 73% in March 2021[14] when sales hit peak levels.

With sales putting slightly more pressure on inventory levels, their pace picked up slightly from the month prior. The average days on market fell from 9 days in April to 8 days, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) edged back from 0.8 months in March and 0.7 months in April to a tight 0.6 months.

At the end of May, active listings numbered 889, down 23% year over year and up 1% month over month. TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer explains that in the GTA, “people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices.” This competition, he notes, is creating “tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well.”

For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price was up 42% year over year and 1% month over month at $1,001,636. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 39% year over year and fell 1% month over month to $732,583. For townhomes, the average price increased 32% year over year and 1% month over month to $767,249. For condo apartments, the average price was up 38% and 8% over the same periods to $531,222.

The average selling price for all home types in Durham was $902,135, up 39% compared to May 2020 and 1% compared to April.

York

The seller’s market continues in York! May sales couldn’t match the March peak, but prices continue to rise as inventory levels struggle to keep up with buyer demand.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 2,192 residential sales in York in May.[15] This was a 217% increase over May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic virtually halted sales activity in the Ontario market.[16]

Compared to April of this year, sales decreased by 11%,[17] a downward trend seen across the Greater Toronto Area. TRREB President Lisa Patel notes that falling sales are likely the result of “the absence of a normal pace of population growth.”

Much like sales, the number of homes coming onto the market in May soared above last year’s level, yet came in below that of recent months. At 3,464, new listings were up 116% year over year and down 14% month over month. With new listings decreasing at a slightly faster rate than sales, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 61% in both April and March[18] to a tighter 63%.

The pace of the sales saw only small variations compared to the month prior, with the average days on market climbing from 12 days in April to 13 days, and months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) edging back from 1.6 months to 1.5 over the same period.

At the end of May, active listings numbered 2,668, up 7% year over year and down 1% month over month – unwelcome news for buyers hoping to see supply levels rise. TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer points out that in the GTA, “people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices.” This competition, he notes, is creating “tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well.”

For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price was up 35% year over year and 3% month over month at $1,589,879. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 26% year over year and fell 3% month over month to $1,012,865. For townhomes, the average price increased 23% year over year and rose by less than half a per cent month over month to $1,037,692. For condo apartments, the average price was up 19% and down 2% over the same periods to $656,648.

The average selling price for all home types in York grew 28% compared to May 2020 and 1% compared to April at $1,294,579.

Halton

The seller’s market got a little bit tighter in Halton this May! Though sales lagged the March peak, prices are still well above what they were a year ago and remain steady.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports 1,197 residential sales in Halton for May.[19] This was a 141% increase over May 2020, when the real estate market ground to a halt during the first wave of the pandemic.[20]

Compared to April of this year, sales decreased by 15%,[21] a downward trend seen across the Greater Toronto Area. TRREB President Lisa Patel notes that falling sales are likely the result of “the absence of a normal pace of population growth.”

Similarly, the number of homes coming onto the market in May vaulted over last year’s level, yet came in below recent months. At 1,611, new listings were up 93% year over year and down 18% month over month. With new listings decreasing at a slightly faster rate than sales, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 73% in March[22] and 71% in April and to an even tighter 74%.

Accordingly, the pace of the sales picked up slightly compared to the month prior, with the average days on market remaining unchanged from April at just 10 days, and months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) edging back from 1 month to 0.9 months over the same period.

At the end of May, active listings numbered 916, down 19% year over year and 3% month over month, which is hard news for buyers hoping to see supply levels rise. As TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer points out, in the GTA, “people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices.”

For detached/single-family homes, the average selling price was up 35% year over year and down 1% month over month at $1,522,584. For semi-detached homes, the average price grew 23% year over year and fell 2% month over month to $970,051. For townhomes, the average price increased by 23% year over year and decreased by 1% month over month to $940,217. For condo apartments, the average price was down 20% and 9% over the same periods to $615,750.

The average selling price for all home types in Halton rose 29% compared to May 2020 and fell 1% compared to April at $1,193,780.

Ottawa

The market is still tight in Ottawa! Though May sales and new listings fell short of April numbers, both came in above the five-year averages – evidence that buyer demand is still high.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports 2,296 residential properties sold in May.[23] This was a 71% increase over May 2020, when the real estate market was heavily impacted by the first wave of the pandemic, but a 4% decrease from April.[24]

OREB President Debra Wright notes that although Ontario was in lockdown for both May 2020 and 2021, this year’s strong numbers suggest that “enhanced safety measures and vaccine adoption rates have enabled potential buyers and sellers to feel more protected and comfortable in their home buying and selling process.”

In fact, the number of new listings for May was double last year’s number, with 2,386 residential properties and 727 condos entering the market. Looking at those figures together, the sales-to-new-listings ratio came in at a tight 74%, meaning that for every 100 homes listed in May, 74 homes sold.

However, with sales pressure easing slightly from earlier in the year, price acceleration has slowed. The average selling price for residential-class homes (including detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, and duplexes) rose 35% year over year and fell by just over a quarter of a per cent (about $2,000) month over month to $741,206. For condos, it rose 24% and fell just over half a per cent (about $2,300) over the same periods to $424,843.

Write optimistically points out that with the growth of condo prices and sales (which increased 85% year over year), “it appears that the condo market has recovered from the declines experienced early in the pandemic.”

Hamilton-Burlington

Sellers enjoyed a market tipped strongly in their favour in May, despite sales and new listings coming in behind April’s numbers. Though the average price edged back by 1%, consistently low inventory levels mean homes are still in high demand!

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports 1,811 residential sales across the region in April.[25] This was a 90% increase over May 2020 – when the first wave of the pandemic nearly halted the real estate market – but a 5% decrease from April.[26]

Like sales, new listings showed robust year-over-year improvements at a 73% increase from May 2020, while the month-over-month tally came in 14% lower. By month’s end, the number of active listings (i.e., available homes) on the market was 1% lower than it was at the end of April – changes which RAHB President Donna Bacher describes as “very slight.”

Prices also experienced slight negative shifts in May – possibly the result of growing activity in the generally lower-priced condo sector. Across the region, the average selling price for all home types decreased 1% month over month to $843,468, which is a 29% increase from a year ago.

For detached homes, sales dipped 4% month over month while the average selling price fell 1% to $940,348, but as Bacher points out, “statistically, we are still well within a strong seller’s market.” She echoes that comment for townhomes and apartment-style condos: the former saw the average selling price rise just over a quarter of a per cent month over month to $714,695, while the latter saw prices slide by a quarter per cent in the opposite direction to $532,030; yet, with high sales-to-new-listings ratios, selling conditions in all sectors remain extremely tight.

The RAHB region comprises an array of cities with varying home prices and market trends. In Niagara North, the average selling price for all residential property types rose 33% year over year and fell 7% month over month to $837,084. In Haldimand County, it grew 26% year over year and 5% month over month to $713,117. In Burlington, the average price rose 20% year over year and took a 6% step down to $1,000,808, while in Hamilton, it was up 31% year over year and up 1% month over month to $792,746.

Niagara

Though May sales and new listings couldn’t catch April numbers, strong buyer demand in the Niagara Region continues to push prices higher!

The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports 941 residential sales in May.[27] This was an increase of 95% compared to May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic greatly reduced activity in the real estate market. Compared to April 2021, sales were down 13%.

The number of new listings coming onto the market was also well above last year’s number but below last month’s. At 1,246, new listings were up 61% year over year and down 6% (or 83 listings) month over month. But, with sales decreasing at a faster rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) eased down from 81% in April to 76%. Nevertheless, the average days on market fell by one day from April to just 14.

As NAR President Doug Rempel notes, the continued strength of buyer demand has many residents asking when the housing bubble will break. “The answer is, there is no bubble,” he states. “Only a significant shortage of inventory, pent-up buyer demand, and record-low mortgage rates – three factors which continue the upward pressure on housing prices.”

Indeed, across the region, the benchmark residential price came in at $648,100, up 40% year over year and 1% month over month.

The Niagara Region comprises several cities with varying activity and benchmark prices. In St. Catharines, the benchmark price rose 46% year over year and fell by just over a quarter-per cent month over month to $612,500. In Niagara Falls, it rose 37% from last May and 2% from last month to $593,700. In Welland, it was up 39% year over year and down 1% month over month to $523,100, while in Fort Erie, it rose 40% and 2% over the same periods to $536,900.

Kitchener-Waterloo

The seller’s market continues in Kitchener-Waterloo! Though price acceleration slowed through May, record-breaking sales kept the market operating under extremely tight conditions.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) reports 854 residential sales in May,[28] a new record for the month that was well above the previous 10-year average of 656. Sales were also up 1% compared to April[29] and 101% compared to May of 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic halted most market activity.

New listings were also above the ten-year average at 1,061, representing an increase of 83% year over year and a decrease of 3% month over month. With new listings easing and sales picking up from the previous month, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 77% to 80% over the same period.

As such, inventory levels continue to challenge buyers, coming in 71% per cent below the 10-year average for May. At 448 available homes at month’s end, active listings were down 20% year over year and 2% month over month. Nevertheless, the pace of the market was unchanged from April, with the average days on market coming in at nine and months of inventory holding steady at 0.7. Months of inventory indicate how long it would take to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales.

“Last month the market took a breath and calmed a bit, but there is still very strong demand throughout our region,” notes Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “This started prior to the new mortgage stress test that came into effect on June 1. While these changes will impact the affordability for some, I do not expect it to be very impactful due to the sheer number of buyers in our market.”

Average selling prices in the region saw very little change from April, despite soaring above last year’s figures. For detached homes, the benchmark price increased 36% year over year and decreased 1% month over month to $815,800. For condos, it rose 17% from last year and fell 2% from last month to $373,700. For townhomes, it grew 49% and decreased 1% over the same periods to $574,900. For all home types, the benchmark price was up 36% from a year ago and up just under half a per cent from last month to $749,100.

Guelph

The Guelph market was on fire in May! With record-breaking sales and low inventory levels putting upward pressure on prices, it’s still a seller’s game.

The Guelph and District Association of REALTORS® (GDAR) reports 590 residential sales in May,[30] a new record for the month and the second-best level of any month on record – surpassed only by March 2021. Sales were up 1% compared to April of this year[31] and 91% compared to May 2020, when the market was heavily impacted by the first-wave lockdowns.

Newly listed properties came in 3% below the five-year average and saw slight month-over-month decreases compared to the surge of new supply in April. At 740, new listings were up 73% year over year and down 1% month over month. The sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 78% in April to 80%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) fell from 0.7 months to 0.6 months over the same period. The long-run average for May is 1.7 months.

Going into June, there were 383 active listings available on the market, down 26% year over year and up only half a per cent month over month. Inventory levels haven’t been this low for the month of May in more than 30 years.

“New listings just can’t seem to keep up with demand no matter the strength of their rebound, with overall inventories still in decline,” says Sabrina Essery, President of GDAR. “As potential buyers continue to compete for an ever-shrinking pool of available listings we continue to see prices driven higher, with price growth now firmly north of 30% compared to one year ago.”

In May, the benchmark price for detached homes rose 34% year over year and 1% month over month to $817,600. For townhouses, it was up 32% year over year and down a quarter-per cent month over month to $573,400. For condo apartments, it grew 21% and 6% over the same periods to $463,000.

For all home types, the benchmark price advanced 33% compared to last May and 1% compared to April at $784,300.

London

The London and St. Thomas region saw the second-highest May sales since 2017! Though price hikes have slowed, it’s still a seller’s market.

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reports 1,258 homes sold across the region.[32] This was an increase of 88% compared to May 2020, when real estate activity experienced massive declines as a result of the first wave of the pandemic. Compared to April 2021, sales were up 2%.[33]

Like sales, new listings saw large year-over-year increases but marginal month-over-month growth. At 1,563, new listings were up 68% from last May and up 1% from April. With sales increasing at a slightly faster rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 79% in April to a tight 81%. 

As such, inventory levels continue to challenge buyers. With available homes at month’s end numbering 796, active listings were down 45% year over year but up 14% month over month. Nevertheless, the pace of the market was unchanged from April, with the average days on market coming in at eight and months of inventory holding steady at a ten-year low of 0.6. Months of inventory indicate how long it would take to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales.

LSTAR President Jack Lane notes, “combined with the high demand, the lack of housing supply is pushing the sales-to-new-listings ratio up, creating a seller's market with multiple offers for many listings and numerous properties sold over the asking price.”

Average selling prices in the region saw very little change from April, despite soaring above last year’s figures. For detached homes, the average selling price increased 43% year over year and decreased 2% month over month to $690,889. For condo apartments, it grew 45% from last year and 2% from last month to $391,708. For condo townhomes, it rose 36% and fell 2% over the same periods to $490,676.

For all home types, the average selling price was up 41% from a year ago and down 1% from last month at $636,053.

Windsor

An increase in new listings meant Windsor’s supply levels got a welcome boost in May, but strong sales kept the average selling price nearly on par with April.

The Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® (WECAR) reports 687 home sales in May. This was an increase of 50% compared to the same month last year, when real estate activity was severely impacted by the first-wave lockdown. Compared to April 2021, sales declined by just 1% (or seven transactions).[34]

Like sales, new listings made significant gains from last May. Coming in at 1,027, new listings were up 52% year over year and 9% month over month. Combined with the slight easing of sales pressure, this brought the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) down from 78% in March and 74% in April to a less intense 67%. By month’s end, there were 600 active listings available for sale, down 38% year over year[35] and up a substantial 25% month over month.

With a notable increase to inventory, price acceleration in the region was slowed. The average selling price for all home types came in at $563,409, 43% higher than last year but 2% (or a little over $8,500) below last month. As in April, the majority of sales (27%) occurred in the $420,000-$549,999 price range.

Brantford

The Brantford market continued its hot streak in May! With record-breaking sales and ultra-low inventory, it’s a tight seller’s market.

The Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) reports 332 residential properties sold in May,[36] a new record for the month and the second-best level of any month on record – surpassed only by July 2020 by a margin of seven transactions. Sales were up 1% from April[37] and up 80% compared to May 2020, when the market was heavily impacted by the first-wave lockdowns.

Newly listed properties came in 2% above the five-year average but saw month-over-month decreases compared to the record-breaking levels in April. At 386, new listings were up 75% year over year and down 19% month over month.

The sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed steeply from 69% in April to 86%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) fell from 0.7 months to 0.6 months over the same period. The long-run average for May is 2.3 months.

“New listings have thankfully been surging,” says Ray Petro, President of BRREA, “but only enough to prevent overall inventories on the market from dropping even further. This just means we’ve stabilized at record low levels of supply and market conditions are still the tightest on record, which continues to drive outsized gains on the price side.”

Going into June, there were 213 active listings available on the market, down 34% year over year and 6% month over month. Inventory levels haven’t been this low for the month of May in more than 30 years.

The benchmark price for detached homes rose 41% year over year and fell 2% month over month to $637,500. For townhouses, it was up 42% year over year and 2% month over month to $447,000. For condo apartments, it grew 18% and 14% over the same periods to $309,400.

For all home types, the benchmark price advanced 40% compared to last May and fell 1% compared to April at $616,100.

Barrie & Simcoe County

It was another busy month for the Barrie and Simcoe County real estate market. Though May sales couldn’t catch April’s, buyer demand was high and prices remained strong!

The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. (BDAR) reports 672 residential properties sold in Barrie and the surrounding Simcoe County,[38] just two sales short of the May record in 2015. This was an increase of 62% compared to May 2020 – when the market was heavily impacted by the first-wave lockdowns – and a decrease of 9% from April’s record sales.[39]

Newly listed properties also saw month-over-month decreases despite coming in 5% higher than the previous five-year average. At 910, new listings were up 52% compared to last year and down 7% compared to April. With sales slowing at a slightly faster rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) eased from 75% in April to 74%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) climbed from 0.6 months to 0.8 months over the same period.

By month’s end, there were 507 active listings available on the market, down 47% year over year and up 10% month over month. While the recent increase is welcome news for buyers, inventory levels haven’t been this low in the month of May in more than 25 years.

“New listings are still coming in strong, which is offering some relief on the supply side,” says Chantal Godard, BDAR President. “However, it’s still not enough to satiate current levels of demand and overall inventories continue to decline, albeit at a slower pace than previously seen."

So too, price hikes slowed in May compared to recent months. Across the region, the benchmark price for detached homes rose 38% year over year and fell 1% month over month to $749,700. For townhouses, it was up 45% year over year and down half a per cent month over month to $533,500. For condos, it grew 32% and 2% over the same periods to $455,700.

For all home types, the benchmark price advanced 38% compared last April and fell 1% compared to last month at $718,800.

Sarnia-Lambton

Sarnia’s hot streak continued in May! With near-record-breaking sales preventing new listings from filling out low supply levels, prices continued to soar above last year’s average.

The Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board (SLREB) reports 222 residential sales in May,[40] coming in 20% above the five-year average for the month and just four sales short of the May record in 2017. This was also an increase of 88% compared to May 2020 (when the market was heavily impacted by the first-wave lockdowns) and 6% from April.[41]

At 249, newly listed properties saw a similar month-over-month increase of 7%, which was 12% above the five-year average for May. Compared to last year, new listings were up 55%. With sales and new listings growing at nearly the same rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) eased from 91% in April to 89%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) remained unchanged from the month prior at 0.6 months. The long-run average for May is 2.4 months.

Going into June, there were 135 active listings available on the market, down 37% year over year and up 6% month over month. While the recent increase is welcome news for buyers, inventory levels haven’t been this low in the month of May in more than 30 years.

“New listings have rebounded from their abyss last year but are nowhere near the unprecedented levels that sales are currently trending at,” says Rob Longo, SLREB President. “As a result, overall supply levels are still trending at record lows and competition for this reduced pool of listings continues to drive prices to record or near-record levels.”

With the market operating at a similar pace to April, the average selling price for all home types fell 1% from last month but leapt 36% compared to last year at $479,890.

Grey County

Prices were on the rise in Grey Bruce and Owen Sound this May! Though sales couldn’t catch April’s numbers, low inventory levels are keeping buyers competitive.

The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS) reports 368 residential transactions in the region,[42] pushing sales 8% higher than the previous five-year average for May. Though down 6% from strong sales in April,[43] they were up 66% compared to May 2020, when market activity nearly halted as a result of the first-wave lockdown.

Meanwhile, newly listed properties came in 2% below the five-year average for May, despite a month-over-month increase of 9%. At 518, new listings were up 49% year over year.

With sales declining and new listings on the rise, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) took a substantial step down from 82% in April to 71%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) climbed from one month to 1.4 months over the same period. The long-run average for May is five months.

Going into June, there were 509 active listings available on the market, down 38% year over year but up an encouraging 25% month over month. Even so, inventory levels haven’t been this low for the month of May in more than 30 years.

Though sales pressure eased in May, prices are still going up. For detached homes, the average selling price rose 40% year over year and 5% month over month to $692,290. For townhouses, it was up 37% year over year and 3% month over month to $495,913. For condo apartments, it grew 19% and 1% over the same periods to $445,833.

For all home types, the average selling price advanced 39% compared to last May and 7% compared to April at a record $667,209.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas

The May market was on fire in Peterborough and the Kawarthas! With record-breaking sales keeping inventory low, prices continued to climb.

The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of REALTORS® Inc. (PKAR) reports 364 residential transactions in May.[44] At an increase of 9% compared to April[45] and 136% compared to May 2020 (when market activity virtually stopped as a result of the first-wave lockdown), sales were 33% higher than the five-year average for this time of year and took the record for the highest sales of any month in history.

Newly listed properties came in 1% above the five-year average for May but fell 8% from strong numbers in April. At 425, new listings were up 64% year over year.

With new listings easing while sales picked up speed, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) rose substantially from 73% in April to 86%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) edged down from 0.8 months to 0.7 months over the same period. The long-run average for May is 2.9 months.

Going into June, there were 262 active listings available on the market, down 42% year over year and 1% month over month. Inventory levels haven’t been this low for the month of May in more than 30 years.

“Home sales really haven’t shown any signs of slowing down as we reached the highest level of any month on record this May,” notes Jon Maxwell, President of PKAR. “Given the unprecedented strength in demand and record low supply, we’re likely to continue seeing very strong double-digit price growth for the near future.”

Across the region, the average selling price for all home types advanced 31% from last May and 5% from April to $715,815.

Huron and Perth Counties

May was another hot month for real estate in Huron and Perth Counties! With strong buyer demand keeping inventory levels at historical lows, prices continued to climb.

The Huron Perth Association of REALTORS® (HPAR) reports 247 residential transactions in the region,[46] a new record for the month coming in 17% higher than the previous five-year average for May. This was also an increase of 7% compared to April[47] and 73% compared to May 2020, when market activity nearly halted as a result of the first-wave lockdown.

Meanwhile, newly listed properties came in 3% above the five-year average for May and remained nearly on par with April’s number. At 297, new listings were up 60% year over year.

With sales on the rise, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) climbed from 78% in April to 83%, while months of inventory (which measures how long it would take to sell all available homes at the current rate of sales) experienced a slight shift from 0.7 months to 0.8 months over the same period. The long-run average for May is 3.8 months.

Going into June, there were 188 active listings available on the market, down 47% year over year but up 10% month over month. Even so, inventory levels haven’t been this low for the month of May in more than 30 years.

“New listings have only returned to average levels, not nearly enough to offset the red-hot pace of demand,” notes Kathy Dawson, HPAR President. “As a result, available inventory continues trending at record lows and fierce competition among buyers is driving prices to new record highs."

Across the region, the benchmark price†  for detached homes rose 42% year over year and 4% month over month to $525,600. For condo apartments, it grew 18% and 4% over the same periods to $496,900.

For all home types, the benchmark price saw gains of 42% from last May and 4% from last month at $524,900.

Map of Alberta with callouts showing detail for Edmonton and Calgary, with purple 'pins' indicating Purplebricks real estate listings

Alberta

Alberta’s real estate market continues to favour sellers as prices rise!  

Though sales across the province ebbed by 4% compared to the highs of April,[48] May’s 9,331 transactions set a new record for the month.[49] According to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), this is the result of several years’ worth of pent-up buyer demand and ultra-low interest rates making homeownership a more attractive option. 

Favourable conditions also drew Albertan home owners to the market in higher numbers than is usual for May. Though new listings lagged April’s tally by 3% at 13,881, overall inventory is up 7% at 26,785 active listings. According to AREA, the upward trend in supply “should help support more balanced conditions as we move through the second half of 2021.”

Despite increased inventory, prices remained strong in May. Across the province, the average selling price for all home types grew 22% year over year and just over three-quarters of a per cent month over month to $442,808.  

Calgary

The Calgary market was hot in May! As strong buyer demand continues, record-breaking sales are helping to keep the city in a seller’s market.  

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports 2,989 residential sales in the city, a new record for the month of May.[50] Compared to May 2020 – when the first wave of the pandemic greatly reduced activity in the real estate market – sales were up 177%, while compared to record-breaking numbers in April 2021, sales were down 7%.  

The number of new listings coming onto the market was also well above last year’s number but below last month’s. At 4,562, new listings were up 89% year over year and down 2% month over month. But with sales decreasing at a faster rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) eased down from 69% in April to 66%, while active listings (i.e., available homes) rose 12% month over month to 6,782. Nevertheless, the average days on market fell by one day from April to 32.  

“The recent gains in prices have encouraged more homeowners to list their homes and take advantage of the current market situation," notes CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the inventory gains are still not enough to offset the demand growth and the market continues to favour the seller.” 

In May, the average selling price for detached homes rose 16% year over year and under a quarter-per cent month over month to $595,881. For semi-detached homes, the average was up 18% year over year and down 6% month over month at $505,043. For rowhouses, it advanced 15% year over year and slid back 1% month over month to $327,091. For condos, it grew 22% and 9% over the same periods to $289,538. 

For all home types, the average selling price came in at $510,908 – up 16% from last May, with a larger-than-usual share of homes sold in the $600,000+ price range (26% of sales in May 2021 versus 16% a year ago). Compared to last month, prices went up by a little under half a per cent.  

Edmonton

May was another strong month in the Edmonton real estate market! Though sales ebbed slightly from the highs of April, prices continued to climb.   

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports 2,741 residential sales in the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA) in May.[51] This was an increase of 137% compared to May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic greatly reduced activity in the real estate market. Compared to April 2021, sales were down 4%.[52]  

The number of new listings coming onto the market was also well above last year’s number but below last month’s. At 4,251, new listings were up 46% from last May and down 2% from April. With sales and new listings decreasing at the same rate, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) shifted marginally from 65% in April to 64%. Nevertheless, the pace of the market has picked up, with the average days on market falling from 37 days to 33 over the same period. 

“There have […] been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to May of last year, while month-over-month activity has started to cool off compared to April,” notes REA Chair Tom Shearer. “While we need to keep in mind the drastic difference between 2020 and 2021, we are witnessing a strong market heading into summer.” 

In May, the average selling price for single-family detached homes rose 13% year over year and 2% month over month to $465,551. For duplexes and rowhouses, it rose 10% year over year and 3% month over month to $358,195. For condos, the average price was up 18% year over year and 6% month over month at $241,885.

For all residential homes, the average selling price saw an increase of 13% year over year and 3% month over month to $401,390

 

Map of Manitoba with purple 'pins' indicating real estate listings

Manitoba

Winnipeg

May was another hot month for Winnipeg real estate with the second-highest sales in history! While supply levels got a boost, prices continue to rise for some home types.  

The Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB) reports 2,006 residential sales in May,[53] surpassing the previous five-year May average by 21% and coming in second only to the record 2,055 sales in April of this year.[54] Thus, sales declined 2% month over month, but compared to May 2020 – when the market was devastated by the first wave of the pandemic – they’re up 46%.  

New listings, on the other hand, grew 4% from last year and 9% from last month to 2,536 – still 8% below the previous five-year average, but enough to bring the sales-to-new listings ratio (which indicates how many homes were sold per 100 new listings) down substantially from 88% in April to 79%. By month’s end, there were 2,768 active listings available on the market, down 40% year over year and up 6% month over month. 

“Buyers continue to show unwavering enthusiasm for all property types in May, and as a result, it is putting a price premium on many listings that come onto the market for sale,” notes Kourosh Doustshenas, WREB President. 

Indeed, for detached homes, the average selling price grew 18% year over year and 1% month over month to $387,338, and for condos, it was up 12% and 9% over the same periods to $254,928. The only home type to experience declines was attached homes, which saw the average price rise 12% compared to last year but fall 6% from last month to $298,333.[55] As in previous months, the price range in which the most residential transactions occurred was $500,000-$749,999 with 18% of sales. 

If you need to sell or buy a home, a local Purplebricks REALTOR® can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing exceptional 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, Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta and Associate Broker for Manitoba for Purplebricks Canada

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.

Sources
[1] CREA: OREA May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 11, 2021
[2] Ontario April 2021 State of the Market Report
[3] TRREB May 2021 Market Report
[4] TRREB May 2020 Market Report
[5] TRREB April 2021 Market Report
[6] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[7] TRREB May 2021 Market Report
[8] TRREB May 2020 Market Report
[9] TRREB April 2021 Market Report
[10] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[11] TRREB May 2021 Market Report
[12] TRREB May 2020 Market Report
[13] TRREB April 2021 Market Report
[14] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[15] TRREB May 2021 Market Report
[16] TRREB May 2020 Market Report
[17] TRREB April 2021 Market Report
[18] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[19] TRREB May 2021 Market Report
[20] TRREB May 2020 Market Report
[21] TRREB April 2021 Market Report
[22] TRREB March 2021 Market Report
[23] OREB May 2021 Market Report
[24] OREB April 2021 Market Report
[25] RAHB May 2021 Market Report
[26] RAHB April 2021 Market Report
[27] NAR May 2021 Market Report
[28] KWAR May 2021 Market Report
[29] KWAR April 2021 Market Report
[30] CREA: GDAR May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 10, 2021
[31] Guelph April 2021 State of the Market Report
[32] LSTAR May 2021 Market Report
[33] LSTAR April 2021 Market Report
[34] WECAR May 2021 Market Report
[35] WECAR May 2020 Market Report
[36] CREA: BRREA May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 10, 2021
[37] Brantford April 2021 State of the Market Report
[38] CREA: BDAR May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 9, 2021
[39] Barrie & Simcoe County April 2021 State of the Market Report
[40] CREA: SLREB May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 14, 2021
[41] Sarnia-Lambton April 2021 State of the Market Report
[42] RAGBOS June 9 Press Release for May 2021 & RAGBOS May 2021 Media Report
[43] Grey Bruce Owen Sound April 2021 State of the Market Report
[44] CREA: PKAR May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 11, 2021
[45] Peterborough and the Kawarthas April 2021 State of the Market Report
[46] CREA: HPAR May 2021 Market Report, retrieved June 10, 2021
[47] Huron-Perth April 2021 State of the Market Report
[48] Alberta Real Estate Market Update, April 2021
[49] Alberta Real Estate Association Monthly Statistics, May 2021, retrieved June 9, 2021
[50] CREB® May 2021 Market Report
[51] RAE May 2021 Market Report
[52] RAE April 2021 Market Report 
[53] WRREB May 2021 Market Report
[54] WRREB April 2021 Market Report
[55] WRREB May 2020 Market Report

†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.