New statistics show there are fewer homes for sale in Canada than at any recorded point in history.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), end-of-month supply of properties reached an all-time low in December.
Records show that newly listed properties fell by 3.2% from November to December 2021. A drop in listings in the Greater Vancouver Area, Montreal and other regions in Quebec offset much of the new supply produced in Toronto.
“There are currently fewer properties listed for sale in Canada than at any point on record,” said CREA senior economist Shaun Cathcart.
“So, unfortunately, the housing affordability problem facing the country is likely to get worse before it gets better. Policymakers are starting to say the right things, but now they have to act to change this course we’re on.”
By the end of December, there was only 1.6 months’ worth of inventory across the country.
Cathcart said that an unprecedented nationwide home building push might be the only thing that will remedy the situation.
“An aggressive national push to build more homes is what will address the issue, but it will probably have to be a greater amount of building than anything we’ve ever undertaken. A touch over the status quo won’t cut it,” said Cathcart.
Housing prices have surged across the country with a 17.7% year-over-year gain at the end of 2021.
Six of Canada’s largest cities have seen housing prices skyrocket, some reporting six-figure increases over the past year.
The largest spike in the cost to buy a home was in the Greater Toronto Area, which saw 31% growth totalling $286,000. The cost of the average home in Toronto is currently priced at $1.2 million.
Housing in the Greater Vancouver Area surpassed the cost of Toronto, however, with the average home costing $1.23 million. This represents a $181,600 jump, or 17%, since 2020.
“With the housing supply issues facing the country having only gotten worse to start 2022, take any decline in sales early in the year with a grain of salt because the demand hasn’t gone away,” said CREA chair Cliff Stevenson. “There just won’t be much to buy until a little later in this spring.”