Spring 2024 Canadian Real Estate Market: Balanced Conditions Amid Rising Inventory and Cautious Buyers

Despite increasing inventory levels, many of Canada’s homebuyers have remained cautious this spring, leading to more balanced and less intense market conditions in the past month.

The latest report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that home sales across Canadian MLS Systems decreased by 1.7% from March to April 2024. However, actual sales activity was 10.1% higher than in April of the previous year.

Meanwhile, newly listed homes saw a 2.8% increase in April 2024 compared to March. With slower sales and more new listings, the total number of homes on the market surged by 6.5%, reaching its highest point since just before the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents one of the largest monthly increases on record, second only to the market slowdown in early 2022.

James Mabey, Chair of CREA’s 2024-2025 Board of Directors, commented in the monthly report, "After a long hibernation, the spring market is now officially underway. The increase in listings is resulting in the most balanced market conditions we’ve seen at the national level since before the pandemic. Mortgage rates are still high, and it remains challenging for many to enter the market, but for those who can, it’s the first spring market in some time where they can shop around, take their time, and exercise some bargaining power. Given the demand, it's uncertain how long this will last."

With sales declining and new listings increasing in April, the national sales-to-new listings ratio dropped to 53.4%, slightly below the long-term average of 55%. By the end of April, there were 4.2 months of inventory nationwide, up from 3.9 months at the end of March. This is the highest level since the pandemic began and exceeds the long-term average of five months.

Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist, noted, "April 2023 saw a surge of buyers re-entering a market with new listings at 20-year lows, whereas this spring has been the opposite, with a healthier number of properties to choose from but less enthusiasm on the demand side."

The national average home price in April 2024 was $703,446, down 1.8% from April 2023. The National Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) remained unchanged from March to April, marking the third consecutive month of stable prices. Regionally, prices are mostly stable across the country, except in Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon, where they have been steadily rising since the beginning of last year.


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