State of the Real Estate Market: October 2020
Though October has been a month of ongoing challenges as our nation grapples with the effects of the coronavirus, residential sales across the country have remained strong after a record-breaking September, and year-to-date sales have surpassed the first 10 months of 2019 by 9%.1 Compared to October 2019, the Canadian real estate market saw a stunning 32% increase in home sales!
In Ontario, residential home sales increased 27% year over year while new listings increased 22%; this imbalance, coupled with the already-low levels experienced since the spring downturn, has left months of inventory at just 1.3 months – down considerably from the long-run seasonal average of 3 months.2 As a result of these factors, prices have been rising in all major markets, with regional average sale prices growing by as much as 32% year-over-year.3 The provincial average selling price rose 17% year over year to $742,101, setting a new record for the month of October.4
In Manitoba, record-breaking year-over-year sales activity was met with a 9% year-over-year decrease in new listings, leaving inventory levels 35% lower at the close of the month than in October 2019.5 With fewer homes to choose from, competition among buyers has led to notable price gains.
In Alberta, increased buyer demand continues to improve selling conditions in both major markets. Sales in Calgary rose by an impressive 23% year-over-year, and with inventory down by 12%, prices are still edging upward.6 Edmonton has also enjoyed enhanced selling conditions since the summer. October numbers showed a promising trajectory: sales increased by 26% year over year, inventory fell by 12%, and prices are on the rise.7
While it has been a year of uncertainty as we continue to find our “new normal” in the pandemic, the real estate market has shown strength, resilience, and impressive year-over-year improvements. For Canadians planning to sell or buy a home this year, the market remains very active.
If you’re looking to sell or buy a home this fall, a local Purplebricks REALTOR® can guide you with expert insight into the current market while keeping your safety a top priority. Plus, our clients save thousands: last year, we saved our home sellers an average of $13,500 in commission†, and we give buyers $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. In any market, we’re here for you.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports8 3,514 residential sales in the City of Toronto for October, up 7% from the same month last year and down 1% since September. The average days on market for all home types rose by one day since September to 17 days (down 11% year over year), with many sellers receiving asking price or higher. “The economic recovery in some sectors coupled with low borrowing costs has kept home purchases top-of-mind for many GTA residents,” says TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. “With this being said, we have not accounted for all of the pent-up demand that resulted from the spring downturn. Expect record or near-record home sales for the remainder of 2020.” The average selling price for all types of homes in the City of Toronto is $1,025,925, an increase of 11% year over year and 0.4% month over month.9 Detached homes totalled 1,228 sales at an average price of $1,470,857, semi-detached homes saw 416 sales at an average price of $1,154,087, townhouses came in at 125 sales at an average price of $1,068,860, and condo apartments accounted for 1,438 sales at an average price of $668,161.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports10 2,198 residential sales in the Peel region in October, representing an increase of 30% year over year and a decrease of 7% month over month. Detached homes accounted for 49% of sales. Average days on market for all home types held steady since last month at only 15 days, though that number dropped by 29% from October 2019. Inventory levels are also unchanged since September at 1.3 months, meaning it would take only that long to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales. Brampton accounted for 50% of total October residential sales. The average selling price for a home in any category in the Peel region is $897,749, for a year-over-year increase of 14% and a month-over-month decrease of 1%. Detached homes are selling for an average of $1,119,028, an increase of 11% year over year.11
The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports12 continued growth in sales activity, with 2,146 residential properties sold – this represents a year-over-year increase of 34% and a month-over-month decrease of 8%. Of those sales, 1,665 were residential-class homes (including detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, and duplexes) for an increase of 38% year over year, while 481 sales were condominium-class for a growth of 22% in the same period. “While the October average price gains, number of sales, and new listings coming onto the market were all down from September, demand persists, and the number of sellers choosing to enter the market remains strong,” observes OREB President Deb Burgoyne. October saw 1,937 residential-class and 708 condo-class listings enter the market, for respective year-over-year increases of 48% and 70%. The average selling price for residential-class properties grew by 25% over last year to $603,253, while the average selling price for condominium-class properties grew by 16% to $368,936.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports13 the Halton region is continuing to see strong sales activity. There were 1,117 homes sold in October, representing a year-over-year increase of 49%, of which 55% were for detached, single-family homes. New listings rose 28% year over year to 1,408, with 54% in the detached category. Inventory for all home types is currently at only 1.4 months (meaning it would take under two months to sell all available listings at the current rate of sale). The average days on market dropped from 18 in September to 17, down significantly from 25 in October 2019. The average selling price for all home types in Halton is $1,057,155 – a year-over-year increase of 19% and a month-over-month decrease of 3%. The average price for a detached home in Halton Region is $1,336,796, up 22% over October 2019 and down 2% compared to September.14
The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports15 1,615 sales across the region which represents an increase of 24% year over year, despite a decrease of 8% month over month. The average selling price for all residential properties is $721,523, representing almost no change month over month, but growing by 20% year over year. “The trends this fall are not reminiscent of what we would normally see – with October activity slowing slightly compared to September – and this is due to 2020 not being a typical year,” notes RAHB President Kathy Della-Nebbia. “As a result of COVID-19, we experienced a delayed spring market and a surge in record activity over the summer months when the province began to reopen. As a result of this unstable year, active listings at the end of each month are some of the lowest we’ve seen, exacerbating low inventory levels and continuing to drive average price.”
The Hamilton region comprises an array of cities, which results in varying home prices. In Niagara North, the average selling price for all residential property types is $693,722, with less than half-a-percent growth month-over-month and a 10% increase year over year. In Haldimand County, the average selling price is $529,440, a month-over-month increase of 10% and a year-over-year increase of 29%. In Burlington, the average selling price is $892,183, a month-over-month decrease of 2% and a year-over-year increase of 14%. In Hamilton, the average selling price for a home is $662,511, representing almost no month-over-month change and a year-over-year increase of 21%.16
The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports17 another strong month of sales. There were 883 homes sold across all home types in the region, representing a 40% increase over October 2019 and a slight dip of 3% since September. St. Catharines saw the majority of buyer activity at 248 sales, with Niagara Falls coming in second at 192, followed by Welland with 126. “It's evident the Niagara Region remains at the top of the list for home buyers,” says Terri McCallum, NAR President “Looking year over year, the number of new listings is down only 1.2%; however, the number of sales are up 39.5%, moving the [benchmark price] up 18% and the average days on market down 36.2%. Clearly this is the place to be!” There were 1,065 new listings for the region in October, with the average days on market coming in at 28, down three days since last month and down 15 days year over year. The benchmark price for a home in the Niagara region (based on an ‘average’ home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms) is $498,900, for a year-over-year increase of 18% and a steady month-over-month increase of 2%.
October 2020 saw the most sales ever recorded for the month, according to the latest Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) report.18 There were 691 residential homes sold, for a year-over-year increase of 28%. “We’re continuing to see more buyers than sellers, including additional buyers migrating here from out of the region looking for the quality of life this region offers,” says Colleen Koehler, President of KWAR. She goes on to note that while the MLS® system doesn’t track where buyers are coming from, “I can say unequivocally we are seeing strong demand from GTA buyers. What people want and need in a home, and where they want to be located, has been redefined in a very short period. Waterloo region is, quite rightly, a highly desirable place to own a home.” With such high buyer demand, inventory remains low at one month’s supply. Sales are outpacing the 783 new listings added to the market this month, with the average time to sell at 13 days – down from 14 days in September and 23 days last October. The average selling price for all residential properties is $635,301, showing a year-over-year growth of 19%. The average price for a detached home is $742,596, a year-over-year increase of 22%; the average price for a condo is $395,627, a year-over-year increase of 15%; and the average price for a semi-detached home is $539,434, a year-over-year increase of 17%.
The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reports19 a record-breaking 917 homes sold across the region, representing a 12% increase over October 2019. “The combination between the historically low interest rates and the 'working-from-home' trend has generated an extraordinary demand in a housing market with a very limited supply, which pushed the average home prices to record highs across the region," noted LSTAR President Blair Campbell. The median days on market is eight, dropping one day from September. Though new listings are up 3% at 1,042, inventory is holding steady at just under a month (meaning it would take less than one month to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales). The average selling price for a home in the London region grew 28% year over year to $526,848, edging up 1% compared to September of this year.20
The Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® reports21 that 720 homes were sold in October, representing an 18% increase from the same month last year. New listings are down 3% year over year with 823 homes coming onto the market, making the sales-to-new-listings ratio of 87% even higher than the national average of 74%.22 The average sale price for all residential listings is $428,276, up 25% year over year and down just 1% month over month, with 60% of all transactions occurring in the $300,000-$549,999 price range.
The Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) reports23 295 residential properties sold in October, representing a 32% year-over-year increase and a new record for the month of October. With a 15% decrease in new listings from October 2019 and an 11% decrease since September, year-over-year inventory has fallen by 65%. This lack of inventory coupled with buyer demand results in average selling prices increasing year over year. The average price for all home types is $577,319, up 22% year over year and up 9% month over month, while the average price for a detached home is $618,508, up 24% compared to October 2019.
Barrie & Simcoe County
The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. (BDAR) reports24 strong sales for the month of October, with 971 homes sold in Barrie and the surrounding Simcoe County, up 31% from October 2019. “The sustained increase in sales activity has not been accompanied by a proportional increase in new supply coming onto the market,” says Robin Jones, BDAR President. “As has been the case in the past few months, the market balance remains very tight and price levels continue to reach new highs.”25
Simcoe County comprises several diverse cities and towns with varying price levels, most of which did not see price changes above 10% since September. In Barrie, there were 318 homes sold with an average price of $598,460 (up 5% month over month); in Collingwood, there were 85 homes sold with an average price of $685,267 (up 2% month over month); in Orillia, there were 72 homes sold with an average price of $471,213 (down 6% month over month); and in Wasaga Beach, there were 81 homes sold with an average price of $628,403 (down less than half a percent month over month). The largest month-over-month price gains were seen in New Tecumseth, where 16 sales at an average price of $810,893 represented a 34% growth, and Tay, where 24 sales at an average price of $626,867 represented a 49% growth.26 The overall average price for the region is $649,793, up 3% from September 2020 and an impressive 26% from October of last year.27
The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS) reports28 that the region saw a record-breaking 385 sales in the month of October, representing a 31% increase over October 2019. According to RAGBOS, overall supply “remains at record lows,” with 341 new listings added to the market (down 2.6% on a year-over-year basis) and inventory coming in at only 1.2 months – far below the long-run seasonal average of 6.1 months (meaning it would take 1.2 months to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale). The average days on market is 22, down from 27 days in September and 34 days last October.29 Sales of single detached homes fell by 20% year over year at 211 units,30 while the median price in that category grew by 37% year over year to $513,900. The average price of all homes sold was $523,638 for a notable gain of 32% from October 2019, with homes selling at an average of 99% of listing price.31
Huron & Perth Counties
The Huron Perth Association of REALTORS® (HPAR) reports32 a record 231 residential sales for the month of October, representing a 33% year-over-year increase. While the 228 new listings added to the market also hit a record high for the month (up 5% year over year), there were only 10 more new listings than last October. Inventory sits at 0.9 months (meaning it would take less than a month to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale), and available homes, or “active listings,” totalled 214 at month’s end – a significant 48% decrease from October last year. “Although new listings were up compared to this time last year, the story of our local market continues to be the higher than expected demand combined with extremely low overall inventory,” notes Sherrie Roulston, HPAR President. “These twin factors continue to contribute to upward price pressures, driving the average prices to some of the highest levels in history.” The average sale price for all home types is $478,674, rising 14% year over year and 4% since September.
Winnipeg’s real estate market is still going strong! According to the WinnipegREALTORS® October report,33 sales for all property types totalled 1,595 for the month, representing a 36% year-over-year growth. New listings numbered 1,786 for decrease of 9% over the same period.
Catherine Schellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®, observes that “brisk sales activity” has made up for the delayed spring market, but “seller’s market conditions prevail,” owing to the fact that the number of new listings has yet to fully recover from the spring setbacks.
The sales-to-new-listings ratio, which measures how many homes are being purchased compared to how many are listed in a given month, is a strong indicator of the current imbalance between buyer demand and new listings. The report notes that where a 60-70% ratio is considered good, the ratio for all residential listings in October was 89%, and for single-family detached homes, it was a stunning 99%.
In fact, detached home sales increased 34% over October 2019 with an average price of $348,955, representing an 11% price gain year over year. Of detached home sales, 34% sold in the $250,000-$349,999 price range.
While demand for detached homes is exceptionally high, the region saw impressive sales and price growth across all categories on a year-over-year basis: attached home sales increased 18% with an average price of $289,900 (up 17%), and condominium sales increased 37% with an average price of $250,407 (up 10%).34
As the province continues to play catch-up after the market downturn this spring, year-over-year upticks in new listings haven’t kept pace with buyer demand, leaving inventory levels 12% lower than last October in both Calgary and Edmonton. With fewer options for home buyers – particularly in the detached home category – prices in both regions have been given a boost, bringing Calgary closer to balanced market conditions than it has been in recent years. All told, it’s been a good month for homeowners looking to sell.
City of Calgary
Calgary continues to see more balanced market conditions this month.
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports35 that the city’s total residential sales rose 23% from October of last year, for a total of 1,764 homes sold. Though new listings are also up 4% year over year for a total of 2,461, the high rate of sales means inventory levels are dropping and prices are moving upward.
“Over the past several years, higher lending rates and the stress test pushed many out of the detached housing market,” observes CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, recent declines in rates, combined with prices that are lower than several years ago, have brought back some of that demand.”
Still, positive gains are far from consistent across all home types and price ranges. The detached market saw the most improvement this month, with sales rising 35% year over year for a total of 1,139 homes sold. The largest growth in detached home sales occurred in the $600,000+ price range, nudging inventory levels below three months’ supply (meaning it would take just under three months to sell all inventory in that price range at the current rate of sales), while high demand for homes priced under $500,000 has reduced inventory to less than two months. The benchmark price for a detached home is $489,800, up 2% year over year, though that figure is consistent with the year-to-date price and below the highs recorded in previous years.
Sales in the semi-detached market are also trending upward for a year-over-year growth of 21%. Despite the increase in sales and a 1% decrease in new listings, the benchmark price has fallen by 1% year over year to $394,700. Similarly, sales of row homes improved by 9% over last October, though the benchmark price decreased by 6% over the same period to $274,400. The apartment condominium category was the only one to experience year-over-year decreases in both sales and price, with 6% fewer sales and the benchmark price of $248,600 coming in 1% below last October.
The average price for all home types in the City of Calgary is $474,903, representing a growth of 5% year over year. The overall inventory is 5,833 active listings (12% below the levels seen last October), leaving the city with a little over three months of supply.
The Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (Edmonton CMA) continues to see strong sales numbers supporting steady price gains.
The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports36 that the Edmonton CMA saw a 26% increase in year-over-year residential sales, despite a slight decrease of 0.2% since September.
As a result of increased buyer demand, inventory levels are falling: at the close of October, there were 6,977 active listings representing a year-over-year decrease of 12%, despite new residential listings increasing 15% year over year to 2,715. The average days on market fell from 65 days in October 2019 to 50 days.
RAE Chair Jennifer Lucas notes, “There have […] been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to October of last year, while we’ve seen stable or decreasing month over month sales in all markets, which is typical for this time of year.”
Detached home sales numbered 1,118 for the month – an impressive 38% increase over October 2019 and a decrease of 6% from September – with an average price of $442,854 representing a year-over-year increase of 5% and a month-over-month decrease of 1%. Condo sale prices averaged $231,608 for a year-over-year increase of 2% and a month-over-month decrease of 1%. Duplex prices averaged $336,314, a year-over-year increase of 2% and a month-over-month decrease of 1%. The average price for all residential homes is $382,060, rising 8% compared to October 2019 and 2% compared to September 2020.
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 full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: our sellers save thousands in commission with our low fixed fee, and our buyers receive $2,000 in 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.
1. CREA October 2020 National Statistics Report
2. CREA October 2020 Ontario Statistics Report
3. RAGBOS October 2020 Market Report
4. CREA October 2020 Ontario Statistics Report
5. WinnipegREALTORS® October 2020 Market Report
6. CREB October 2020 Market Report
7. RAE October 2020 Market Report
8. TRREB October 2020 Market Report
9. TRREB October 2019 Market Report & TRREB September 2020 Market Report
10. TRREB October 2020 Market Report
11. TRREB October 2019 Market Report & TRREB September 2020 Market Report
12. OREB October 2020 Market Report
13. TRREB October 2020 Market Report
14. TRREB October 2019 Market Report & TRREB September 2020 Market Report
15. RAHB October 2020 Market Report
16. RAHB September 2020 Market Report
17. NAR October 2020 Market Report
18. KWAR October 2020 Market Report
19. LSTAR October 2020 Market Report & LSTAR October 2020 Market Update
20. LSTAR September 2020 Market Report
21. WECAR October 2020 Market Report
22. CREA: October 2020 National Statistics
23. BRREA October 2020 Market Report
24. BDAR October 2020 Market Report
25. CREA: BDAR October 2020 Market Report
26. BDAR October 2020 Market Snapshots
27. BDAR September 2020 Market Report
28. RAGBOS October 2020 Market Report
29. RAGBOS October 2020 Residential Market Activity Report
30. RAGBOS October 2020 Housing Market by Property Type Infographic
31. RAGBOS October 2020 Residential Market Activity Report
32. CREA: HPAR October 2020 Market Report
33. WinnipegREALTORS® October 2020 Market Report
34. WinnipegREALTORS® October 2019 Market Report
35. CREB October 2020 Market Report
36. RAE October 2020 Market Report