Housing Market Monitor: Housing market slowed in August as interest rates weigh in
- On a seasonally adjusted basis, home sales decreased 4.1% from July to August, a second monthly contraction in a row following the renewed monetary tightening cycle of the Bank of Canada.
- On the supply side, new listings increased 0.8% in August, a fifth consecutive monthly increase. Another sign of a loss of momentum in the real estate market is the proportion of listings cancelled during the month, which continues to rise, a sign that some sellers are discouraged by recent interest rate hikes.
- Overall, active listing increased by 1.9%, a third monthly gain in a row. As a result the number of months of inventory (active-listings to sales) increased from 3.2 in July to 3.4 in August. This continues to be higher than the trough of 1.7 reached in the pandemic but remains low on a historical basis.
- The active-listings to sales ratio is still tighter than its historical average in every province.
- Housing starts in Canada decreased slightly in August (-2.4K to 252.8K, seasonally adjusted and annualized), beating consensus expectations calling for a 250K print. Decreases in housing starts were seen in Ontario (-14.9K to 84.6K), Manitoba (-3.2K to 6.8K), and Nova Scotia (-2.5 to 3.2K). Meanwhile, increases were registered in Quebec (+14.8K to 53.1K), New Brunswick (+2.1 to 7.1K), Alberta (+1.1K to 39.6K), and Saskatchewan (+0.2K to 5.5), while starts in Newfoundland (1.1K), P.E.I. (1.2K), and B.C. (50.7K) remained unchanged.
- The Teranet-National Bank Composite National House Price Index rose by 1.6% in August after seasonal adjustment. All 11 markets in the composite index were up during the month: Calgary (+3.5%), Vancouver (+2.8%) and Hamilton (+2. 4%) reported stronger-than-average growth, while Halifax (+1.4%), Quebec City (+1.3%), Toronto (+1.2%), Ottawa-Gatineau (+1.1%), Edmonton (+1.1%), Winnipeg (+0.7%), Montreal (+0.7%) and Victoria (+0.2%) were less vigorous.