Canada’s red-hot pandemic housing market continued to cool somewhat in July with sales in both Vancouver and Montreal down from the previous month.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Wednesday that home sales, listings and prices all declined in July after a frenzied start to 2021, though those numbers were still higher than a year ago.
The board said home sales in the region totalled 3,326 last month, a 6.3% increase from the 3,128 sales recorded last July and an 11.6% drop from the 3,762 homes sold in June.
Montreal home sales and new listings dropped by about 30% each last month, compared with July 2020. The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers said the July totals were a continuation of the substantial decreases in sales that began in May, and a signal that the market is returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The Quebec board said 3,799 homes were sold in Montreal in July, down from 5,324 in the same month last year. New listings totalled 4,118 last month, a drop from 5,918 the previous July.
The association said the median price of a single-family home rose by 18% from July 2020 to reach $500,500 last month, while condo prices climbed by 16% to reach a median of $360,000.
Charles Brant, the director of the association’s market analysis department, said the figures are a shift from last July when the region saw a “spectacular” level of sales.
“While this slowdown is partly due to a drop in active listings of single-family homes to historically low levels, it can also be explained by the shrinking pool of buyers who can afford a property at current market prices,” he said in a release.
“However, we have indeed seen a slowdown in price increases and a levelling off of price changes since the spring, for all property categories combined.”
In Vancouver, sales last month were 13.3% above the 10-year July sales average.
The number of homes listed for sale in the market reached 9,850, an 18.5% decrease from 12,083 last July and a 9.1% decrease from 10,839 in June.
The real estate board said the Home Price Index composite benchmark price hit $1,175,500 last month, which is a 13.8% increase from last July and no change from June.
The board’s economist Keith Stewart said the figures show price growth has levelled off in most areas and home types.
“Moderation was the name of the game in July,” Stewart said in a release.
“Home sales and listings fell in line with typical seasonal patterns as summer got going in earnest in July.”
Home sales also slowed somewhat in Calgary last month.