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  • Writer's pictureAlisa Aragon-Lloyd

Homebuyers Cautious As New Listings Surge In April


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) announced today that national home sales dipped in April 2024 from its prior month, as the number of properties available for sale rose sharply to kick off the spring housing market.


Home sales activity recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems fell 1.7% between March and April 2024, a little below the average of the last ten years.


New Listings 


The number of newly listed properties rose 2.8% month-over-month. 


Slower sales amid more new listings resulted in a 6.5% jump in the overall number of properties on the market, reaching its highest level just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also one of the largest month-over-month gains, second only to those seen during the sharp market slowdown of early 2022.


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


Bottom Line


With sales down and new listings up in April, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 53.4%. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 55%. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 45% and 65% is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers' and buyers’ markets, respectively.


There were 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2024, up from 3.9 months at the end of March and the highest level since the onset of the pandemic. The long-term average is about five months of inventory.


“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,” said James Mabey, newly appointed Chair of CREA’s 2024-2025 Board of Directors. “Mortgage rates are still high, and it remains difficult for many people to break into 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 how much demand is out there, it’s hard to say how long it will last.


The upcoming CPI data for April, released on May 21, will be crucial for the Bank of Canada. Given the strength in the April jobs report, the Bank is likely to hold off cutting interest rates until July.



Dr. Sherry Cooper

Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centre


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