Home sales plummet as buyers and sellers take wait-and-see approach

January 6, 2023 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Mortgage News Canada

Ottawa New Listings

Home sales plummeted in the country’s largest metro areas by between 30% and 50% as both buyers and sellers bide their time on the sidelines.

Greater Vancouver led the way, with sales falling 52% year-over-year, while the Greater Toronto Area saw a 48% decline. Montreal followed with a 39% annual decline, whereas sales were down 30% in both Calgary and Ottawa.

Commenting on the Montreal market, Charles Brant, director of the Market Analysis Department for the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, said that while December is typically a slower month for sales, he’s seeing a “certain wait-and-see” attitude among market participants.

“On the one hand, buyers are hoping that market conditions will improve in their favour,” he wrote in a release. “Sellers, on the other hand, are hoping for a stabilization of the market.”

Average prices continued to fall in most of the metro areas. The MLS Home Price Index benchmark is now down 9% year-over-year in the Greater Toronto Area. In Calgary, however, average prices remain nearly 8% above year-ago levels.

Here’s a look at the November statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:



Greater Toronto Area

Sales: 3,117

  • -48% (YoY)
  • -31% month-over-month (MoM)

Average price: $1,051,216

New listings: 4,074

Active listings: 8,692

“While home sales and prices dominated the headlines in 2022, the supply of new listings continued to be an issue as well,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. “The number of homes listed for sale in 2022 was down in comparison to 2021. This helps explain why selling prices have found some support in recent months.”

“Lack of supply has also impacted the rental market,” Mercer added. “As renting has become more popular in this higher interest rate environment, tighter rental market conditions have translated into double-digit average rent increases.”

Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)

Greater Vancouver Area

Sales: 1,295

MLS Home Price Index benchmark price: $1,114,300

New listings: 1,206

Active listings: 7,384

“The headline story in our market in 2022 was all about inflation and the Bank of Canada’s efforts to bring inflation back to target by rapidly raising the policy rate,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV Director, economics and data analytics. “This is a story we expect to continue to make headlines into 2023, as inflationary pressures remain persistent across Canada.”

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)

Montreal Census Metropolitan Area

Home Sales: 2,232

Median Price (single-family detached): $510,000

Average Price (condo): $375,000

New listings: 2,359

Active listings: 14,533

“December is the month of the year when there are generally fewer listings and fewer purchases, so it is not surprising to see slower activity in the Montreal market,” said Charles Brant, Director of the QPAREB’s Market Analysis Department. “This phenomenon is particularly evident in the number of new listings (we have to go back to 2002 to see a similar level). This low level of inventory has nevertheless prevented prices from falling more sharply.”

Source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)


Sales: 1,204

Benchmark Price (all housing types): $518,800

New listings: 1,031

Active listings: 2,215

“Housing market conditions have changed significantly throughout the year, as sales activity slowed following steep rate gains throughout the later part of the year,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, Calgary continues to report activity that is better than levels seen before the pandemic and higher than long-term trends for the city. At the same time, we have faced persistently low inventory levels, which have prevented a more significant adjustment in home prices this year.”

Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)


Sales: 601

Average Price (residential property): $655,839

Average Price (condominium): $434,973

New Listings: 699

“Even with the normal seasonal slowdown, December’s performance was in stark contrast to the very active resale market that opened 2022,” said OREB President Ken Dekker.

“What’s concerning about the current market is the impact on first-time homebuyers,” she added. “As interest rates and inflation both climbed, buyers retreated to the sidelines and began taking a wait-and-see approach. However, while it’s quieter than the frantic pace we experienced in 2021, it is now a balanced market.”

Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)

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