Housing inventory rises in April above long-term averages, while buyer enthusiasm fails to keep pace: CREA

Despite rising inventory levels, many of Canada’s homebuyers have remained on the sidelines this spring, resulting in more balanced, less feverish market conditions this past month.

According to the latest market report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), home sales across Canadian MLS Systems dropped 1.7% month-over-month in April, 2024. Actual monthly activity came in 10.1% above the same month last year.

At the same time, the number of newly listed homes increased 2.8% month-over-month in April, 2024. With slower sales and more new listings, the total number of homes on the market jumped by 6.5%, hitting its highest level since just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was one of the biggest monthly increases ever recorded, second only to the mass slowdown the market experienced in early 2022.

“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, Chair of CREA’s 2024-2025 Board of Directors, in the monthly report. “Mortgage rates are still high, and it remains difficult for a lot of 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.”

With sales down and new listings up in April, the national sales-to-new listings ratio fell to 53.4%, just 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, the highest level since the pandemic began and above the long-term average of five months.

“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.

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

Post a Comment