Home / National Real Estate / State of the Real Estate Market: September 2020

State of the Real Estate Market: September 2020

September often sees an uptick in market activity as summer vacations wind to a close and Canadians get back to their routines, but like so many things this year, September has been a month of surprises.

After a slight levelling-off of price gains and market activity in some parts of the country in August, sales numbers skyrocketed on a year-over-year basis across the board, pushing most of Ontario into even tighter seller’s markets and bringing some much-needed balance to parts of the West.

In Ontario, all the major markets are experiencing consistently low or diminishing inventory levels as a result of fewer listings being added to the market throughout the pandemic, paired with strong buyer demand and increased sales. As a result, average sale prices are notably higher than they were last September – with growth as high as 31% – making it an excellent time to sell a property.

In Manitoba, record-breaking year-over-year sales activity and low inventory levels mean favourable conditions for sellers of all property types, including condos, vacant lots, and mobile homes. For detached homes – which are consistently the most sought-after property type in this province – the competitive seller’s market has not only pushed the average sale price up, but also moved the price range where most sales occur into the $300,000-$349,999 category for the first time in history.

In Alberta, increased buyer demand is having a positive impact on both Calgary and Edmonton. Though Calgary saw a marginal increase in new listings coming onto the market compared to last September, the unusually high sales brought inventory down, leading to more balanced conditions than the city has seen in five years. In Edmonton, increased sales, especially in the detached home category, are nudging prices steadily upward while inventory continues to decline. In both regions, the progress towards more balanced conditions are welcomed by home sellers.

If you’re planning 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 top of mind. Plus, you’ll keep more money in your pocket: last year, we saved our home sellersan average of $13,500 in commission, and we give buyers $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our agents. In any market, we’re here for you.

Ontario

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

Ontario’s real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down, despite the upheaval of school being back in session and concerns surrounding the second wave of the pandemic.

It’s been a month of tremendous sales activity in all major markets across the province, with year-over year growth ranging from 19-74%. Buyer demand remains high, and with not enough listings in the market to meet demand, prices continue to rise while the average days on market declines. While month-over-month prices aren’t experiencing the same kind of rapid growth witnessed earlier in the spring, all markets are seeing significant year-over-year growth, meaning many buyers are competing in higher price ranges than they would have a year ago. In seller’s markets like these, buyers must act fast.

Toronto

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports1 that the City of Toronto is seeing consistently high sales at 3,555 homes sold, up 19% from September 2019.2 The average days on market held firm at just 16 days since August, and with such high demand for homes, many sellers are receiving asking price or higher. “With competition between buyers increasing noticeably, double-digit year-over-year price growth was commonplace throughout the region in September, resulting in the overall average selling price reaching a new record,” says Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst, of the GTA. The average selling price for a home in the City of Toronto is $1,022,051, an increase of 12% year over year and 1% month over month. Detached homes totalled 1,161 sales at an average price of $1,487,122, semi-detached homes saw 421 sales at an average price of $1,145,559, townhouses came in at 139 sales at an average price of $1,118,632, and condo apartments accounted for 1,549 sales at an average price of $686,191.

Peel

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports3 2,363 residential sales in the Peel region in September, representing an increase of 45% year over year4 and 3% month over month. Brampton accounted for 48% of total September residential sales. Average days on market dropped by 25% from last September, coming in at only 15 days – one day longer than in August of this year. Inventory levels are sitting at 1.3 months, meaning it would take only that long to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales; anything under three months indicates that it’s a seller’s market. The average selling price for a home in the Peel region is $904,963, a year-over-year increase of 18% and a month-over-month increase of 1%.

Ottawa

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports5 continued growth in sales activity with 2,329 residential properties sold, a year-over-year increase of 51% and a month-over-month increase of 15%. Of those sales, 1,759 were residential-class homes (including detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, and duplexes) for a 58% growth year over year, while 570 sales were in the condominium-class category for a growth of 31% in the same period. “The sheer volume of transactions in September, compared to a year ago, confirms the Ottawa resale market is continuing on its upward trajectory,” OREB President Deborah Burgoyne observes, but “whether this momentum in our market will continue is difficult to predict.” However, she points out that “continued increase in new listings and demand remaining strong allows us to be cautiously optimistic.” September saw 2,909 new listings enter the market, with the average selling price for residential-class properties growing by 19% over last year to $622,557, and the average selling price for condominium-class properties growing by 20% to $373,565.

Halton

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports6 the Halton region is continuing to see a dramatic increase in sales activity with 1,164 homes sold in September, representing a year-over-year increase of 74%.7 New listings rose 17% year over year to 1,631, but with inventory diminishing to only 1.5 months (meaning it would take 1.5 months to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales), homes are in high demand. The average days on market increased from 17 to 18 month over month, though that number is still down from 25 in September 2019. The average selling price for a home in Halton is $1,087,859 – a year-over-year increase of 20% and a month-over-month increase of 5%.

Hamilton Region

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports8 sales across the region have increased by an impressive 54% year over year and 38% month over month. The average selling price for residential properties continued to rise by 4% month over month – this in spite of new listings jumping up 33% from last month. RAHB President Kathy Della-Nebbia notes that while we saw “an increase in new listings in our area […] there is a low number of active listings, which was down in September by over 40 per cent compared to the same month last year. This low inventory is driving the average price higher.”

The Hamilton region comprises an array of cities, which results in varying home prices. In Niagara North, the average selling price is $690,743, representing a year-over-year increase of 25% and a month-over-month increase of 6%. In Haldimand County, the average selling price is $529,440, a year-over-year increase of 11% and a month-over-month decrease of 5%. In Burlington, the average selling price is $912,794, a year-over-year increase of 18% and a month-over-month increase of 7%. In Hamilton, the average selling price for a home is $664,330, a year-over-year increase of 22% and a month-over-month increase of 0.3%.

Niagara

The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports9 911 homes sold in September, representing a stunning 57% increase over the same month last year despite a slight dip in sales since August. Terri McCallum, President of NAR, notes that “[h]istorically low interest rates, higher demand and continued lower supply” could explain the rise in sales. Despite new listings coming in at 1,156 – eight listings short of last month – many areas in the region are seeing slight decreases in new listings year over year. One of the exceptions is St. Catharines, with a 20% increase in new listings year over year and a 35% increase in sales compared to September 2019. The benchmark price (based on an ‘average’ home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms) for a home in the Niagara region is $491,100, a year-over-year increase of 16% and a steady month-over-month increase of 2%, while the average days on market is 31, down from 35 in August.

Kitchener-Waterloo

September was another record-breaking month for sales according to the latest Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) report.10 There were 758 residential homes sold – a month-over-month increase of 42% and the most ever recorded for the month of September. Colleen Koehler, President of KWAR, states, “This is far more home sales than what we would normally see in September as buyers continue to play catch up from the COVID-19 hindered spring market,” further observing that “[w]hile the pandemic has had devastating impacts on many aspects of our lives it has only solidified the importance of home and homeownership.” The region is in a strong seller’s market: in spite of the 929 new listings added to the MLS® System (a 13% increase over new listings last September), inventory is holding at only one month’s supply, indicating that buyer demand is still high. The average time to sell is 14 days – down 39% year over year – and the average selling price for a detached home is $637,691, a year-over-year increase of 18% and a month-over-month increase of half a percent.

London

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reports11 a record breaking 960 homes sold across the region, representing a 25% increase over September 2019. “The strong momentum experienced during the summer months continued through September," noted LSTAR President Blair Campbell. "Similar to many other housing markets across Canada, many are still playing catch up from the COVID-19 lockdown we had during the spring.” The median days on market dropped one day from August to 9, and inventory has dropped to just under a month, meaning it would take less than one month to sell all available listings at the current rate of sales.12 The average selling price for a home in the London region reached a new record at $521,883 – an increase of 28% over the same month last year and an increase of 98% compared to September 2015.

Windsor

The Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® reports13 a record 738 residential sales for the month of September, representing a 32% increase from the same month last year. “While new listings continue to rise steadily,” observes Lorraine Clark, President of the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS®, “the main story again this month is the twin factors of strong demand and record low overall supply, which is creating upward pressure on prices. This has driven the average price to a new record for the fifth month in a row.” Despite 951 new residential listings hitting the market, overall supply remains low. The average sale price gained an impressive 31% year over year at $433,043, with 45% of all sales occurring in the $300,000-$549,999 price range.14

Brantford

The Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) reports15 244 residential properties sold in September, representing a 43% year-over-year increase and a new record for the month of September. With new listings numbering only 266 – a 13% drop from August – President of the BRREA Rose Sicoli notes, “new listings have struggled to keep pace with sales, retreating slightly from the 300+ listings a month we have seen over the last few months. The main story in our region continues to be the twin factors of strong demand and low overall inventory. These 2 elements remain contributors to the recent upwards price momentum.” The inventory of available homes sits at 0.8 months (meaning it would take less than one month to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale), which is well below the long-standing average of 3.1 months. The average price for a home is $532,267, up 23% from September 2019 and down 6% from August of this year.

Barrie & Simcoe County

The Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc. reports16 record-breaking sales for the month of September, with 1,031 homes sold in Barrie and the surrounding Simcoe County, up 53% from September 2019. “While we are seeing incredible strength in demand, new supply came in lower than this time last year, which is giving us one of the tightest markets on record,” says Robin Jones, BDAR President. “As a result, the pool of available listings is shrinking, and prices continue to reach new record levels.”17 Simcoe County comprises several diverse cities and towns with varying price levels, most of which have not changed notably since August. In Barrie, there were 329 homes sold with an average price of $567,916; in Collingwood, there were 98 homes sold with an average price of $675,278; in Orillia, there were 78 homes sold with an average price of $503,535; and in Wasaga Beach, there were 94 homes sold with an average price of $565,063. The overall average price for the region is $628,403, up 0.8% from August 2020 and an impressive 26% from September of last year.18

Grey County

The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS) reports19 that the region saw 384 sales in the month of September, representing a 31% increase over September 2019. According to RAGBOS, the market balance is “in seller’s market territory,” no doubt owing to sales activity keeping close pace with the 395 new listings added to the market,20 as well as inventory levels sitting at only 1.5 months21 (meaning it would take only that long to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale). Of the total residential sales, 250 were single detached homes – a 3% decrease from sales in the same category in September 2019.22 The average overall price was $502,003 for an impressive year-over-year increase of 24%, with homes selling at an average of 99% of listing price. The average days on market is 27, down from 36 in September 2019.23

Huron & Perth Counties

The Huron Perth Association of REALTORS® (HPAR) reports24 a record 222 residential sales for the month of September, representing a 20% increase from September 2019. Despite 239 new listings being added to the market for a 9% rise over last September, overall supply remains low at only 1.1 months of inventory (meaning it would take 1.1 months to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale). The long-time average for the region is 4.8 months. “Although new listings appear to have stabilized in our region over the last few months, the story of our local market continues to be the higher than expected demand for this time of year combined with the low overall inventory,” notes Sherrie Roulston, President of the HPAR. “These twin factors continue to contribute to upward price pressures, driving the September average price to the second highest level in history.” The average sale price grew 15% year over year to $461,451.

Manitoba

map of Winnipeg with purple 'pins' indicating real estate listings

Winnipeg’s real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down, despite the upheaval of school being back in session and concerns surrounding the second wave of the pandemic.

According to the WinnipegREALTORS® September report25, MLS® sales for all property types reached a record breaking 1,777 for the month, representing 47% year-over-year growth. Strong buyer demand has contributed to the depletion of available listings, which numbered 3,942 at the end of the month – down 34% compared to September 2019. This, in turn, is putting upward pressure on prices.

Catherine Schellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®, observes, “As much as we have witnessed a shortage of listings, this can be attributed to the strong pace and growth in demand for property the last four months. Similar to a store owner, we have not been able to stock the shelves fast enough to keep up with a spike in demand in a number of sought-after neighbourhoods and municipalities within our market region.”

Low supply and high demand have led to substantial sales growth across all categories: condominium sales increased 38% year over year with an average price of $239,538, while sales of vacant lots grew by 179%, townhouses by 150%, and mobile homes by 86%. 

The average price for a detached home is $352,010, showing a price increase of 11% year over year. While activity in the $350,000-$399,999 price range increased by a dramatic 114% over September of last year, the largest number of transactions occurred in the $300,000-$349,999 range, representing 17% of all detached home sales. Giving up the longstanding lead was the $250,000-S299,999 price range in which 16% of sales occurred.

Schellenberg remarks, “We are seeing first-time home buyers having to go above $300,000 in their offer to acquire a home they may have been able to purchase under this benchmark level last year.”

Alberta

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

Despite concern over a second wave of COVID-19, home sales in Alberta are seeing major growth, revealing a resurgence in buyer demand since late summer. Strong sales are bringing Calgary closer to a balanced market for the first time in five years, while in Edmonton, an increase in sales is putting upward pressure on year-over-year prices. Inventory levels in both regions have dropped by more than 12% compared to the same time last year, and overall home prices are fairly consistent with those seen in August. While the pandemic is still having an impact on the economy, selling conditions have improved.

City of Calgary

Calgary is moving toward a more balanced market and saw the strongest September for home sales since 2014.

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) reports26 the City of Calgary’s residential sales jumped 25% from September of last year for a total of 1,702 homes sold. This growth in buyer demand has reduced inventory to the current 6,225 homes for sale – 12% lower than in September 2019 – and bumped month’s supply down from 4.1 months in August to 3.6 (meaning it would take 3.6 months to sell all available homes at the current rate of sale).

CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie observes, “[t]he recent rise in new listings, combined with low lending rates and softness in prices, has helped support some of the recent upward trend in sales.”

After three months of upward-trending prices, the average price for all homes in September is $467,625, for a marginal growth of 1% year over year and a 0.4% decrease month over month.27

The average price for a detached home in the City of Calgary is $547,693, up 1% year over year and down half a percent since August. The average price for a semi-detached home is $478,870, up 1.5% year over year and down 3% month over month. The average price for a town/row home is $328,990, up 2% year over year and 7% month over month.28

Edmonton

The Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (Edmonton CMA) is enjoying improved selling conditions with decreasing inventory and growing sales.

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports29 that the Edmonton CMA saw a massive 36% increase in year-over-year residential sales, despite a slight decrease of 0.2% since August.

RAE Chair Jennifer Lucas points out that the main drivers of year-over-year growth are increased sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes, and that, “while we’ve seen stable or decreasing month-over-month sales in all markets,” the trend “is typical for this time of year.”

Detached home sales are on par with August’s at 1,188, representing a stunning 43% increase over the same month last year. The average price is $440,020, which represents a growth of 5% over September 2019 and 0.1% over August 2020. Meanwhile, condo sale prices average $232,237 for a year-over-year increase of 7% and a month-over-month increase of 1%. Duplex prices average $341,519 for a decrease of just under 1% year over year and 0.6% month over month.

The average home price for all residential homes is $376,571, resulting in a growth of 7% compared to September 2019 and a 0.5% increase from August 2020. Meanwhile the inventory of available homes fell 15% year over year to 7,248.

If you need to sell or buy a home this fall, a local Purplebricks REALTOR® can help you navigate the market with safety and professional insight. Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing them with full-service real estate experiences that lets them keep thousands more in their pockets: 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 about starting your real estate journey with us.

Sources
1. TRREB September 2020 Market Report
2. TRREB September 2019 Market Report
3. TRREB September 2020 Market Report
4. TRREB September 2019 Market Report
5. OREB September 2020 Market Report
6. TRREB September 2020 Market Report
7. TRREB September 2019 Market Report
8. RAHB September 2020 Market Report
9. NAR September 2020 Market Report
10. KWAR September 2020 Market Report
11. LSTAR September 2020 Market Report
12. LSTAR September 2020 Statistical Report
13. WECAR September 2020 Market Report
14. CREA: WECAR September 2020 Market Report
15. CREA: BRREA September 2020 Market Report
16. BDAR September 2020 Market Report
17. CREA: BDAR September 2020 Market Report
18. BDAR September 2020 Market Report
19. RAGBOS September 2020 Market Report
20. RAGBOS September 2020 Market Infographic
21. RAGBOS September 2020 Market Report
22. RAGBOS September 2020 Housing Market by Property Type Infographic
23. RAGBOS September 2020 Market Report
24. CREA: HPAR September 2020 Market Report
25. WinnipegREALTORS® September 2020 Market Report
26. CREB September 2020 Market Report 
27. CREB August 2020 Market Report
28. CREB September 2020 Market Report 
29RAE September 2020 Market Report

†Average savings based on a commission of 5% in Ontario and Manitoba and 7%/3% in Alberta, less a buyer agent commission estimated at 2.5% in Ontario and Manitoba and 3.5%/1.5% in Alberta for clients who were represented by Purplebricks during offers and negotiations, taking into account fees paid to Purplebricks and applicable taxes, from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.