Is Canada’s housing slump coming to an end?

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Early January data didn’t show a surge in sellers. Instead, new listings were scant, hinting at a potential rise in demand-supply tightness. There’s a looming risk that mortgage renewals could trigger a wave of distressed sales. Despite these factors, the market’s overall tone is looking up slightly, with Calgary standing out as an exception where home prices continue to climb.

Read next: Which Canadian housing markets saw the biggest price increases last year?

Toronto’s real estate market might be finding its footing after a quiet fall, with consecutive months of rising home resales, including a 9.6% month-over-month increase in January. However, stretched affordability could keep many potential buyers waiting on the sidelines for more favourable conditions. Prices in Toronto have been on a downward trend, but if the recent tightening in demand-supply conditions holds, this trend might soon stabilize.

Montreal’s market began 2024 in much the same vein as it ended 2023: steady but subdued, with transactions and prices remaining stable but modest above their early 2023 lows. The local economic climate and labor tensions could be dampening buyer enthusiasm, with any significant boost from lower interest rates not expected until later in the year.

In Vancouver, both buyers and sellers showed increased activity in January, possibly motivated by the recent dip in mortgage rates. An estimated 15% rise in new listings offered more options to buyers, although demand-supply conditions slightly softened, keeping prices on a slight downward trend. Vancouver’s challenging affordability may continue to impact prices in the near term.

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