Home sales across Canada went up by 0.9% between August and September 2021, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

This change marked the first month-over-month increase since March.

The chair of the CREA Cliff Stevenson said in a press release that it was the second-highest ever September sales figure by a sizable margin.

“September provided another month’s worth of evidence from all across Canada that housing market conditions are stabilizing near current levels,” said Stevenson. 

“In some ways, that comes as a relief given the volatility of the last year-and-a-half, but the issue is that demand/supply conditions are stabilizing in a place that very few people are happy about.” 

The actual number of transactions in September was down 17.5% on a year-over-year basis, with the record for that month set last year. 

The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.6% in September compared to August, as gains in parts of Quebec were overwhelmed by declines in Lower Mainland, BC, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Calgary. 

The national average home price was $686,650 in September, up 13.9% from the same month last year. Sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA influenced the national average home price, but excluding them from the calculation cuts the average by $146,000. 

As housing prices continue to increase in urban centres, Atlantic Canada has emerged as a popular destination for Canadians during COVID-19. The Royal Bank of Canada said that net migration to Atlantic Canada was higher in the first and second quarters of 2021 than in 2019 and 2020 combined. 

During the 2021 Canadian election, the Liberals promised to build and revitalize an additional 250,000 homes over four years to address supply issues, which the Liberals claim would lead to lower prices. 

While Canadians struggle with a higher cost of living, the unpopular idea of a home sales tax became an issue during the election. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said throughout the election that his government would not implement a home sales tax, but the Conservatives argued he could not be trusted. 

The Liberal candidate for New Brunswick Southwest Jason Hickey admitted that the party may tax home sales if Trudeau is re-elected. 

“But of course, anyone selling their primary residence, if you do make money on that, unfortunately you will have to pay tax on that,” said Hickey in a video posted by the Conservatives. “I wouldn’t agree to that either, but it’s what we have to do.”

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