The arrival of winter is not just cooling the weather, but also housing market activity. Across Canada home sales have been slowing down as buyers and even some sellers put their real estate plans on hold due to prevailing high interest rates. With fewer buyers in play, inventory is rebuilding allowing many local markets to balance out and competition to soften. So which areas are currently favouring buyers and which are favouring sellers?
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To find out, Zoocasa analyzed market competition across 23 markets in Canada by comparing sales and new listing data for October 2023. This data was then used to determine the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) for October, calculated by dividing the total sales by the number of new listings in each city. The SNLR indicates the level of demand and supply in each area and can thus help local buyers and sellers determine local market conditions.
An SNLR under 40% suggests a buyer’s market where new listings outweigh sales and buyers have more choice.
An SNLR between 40% and 60% is a balanced market where demand and supply are at similar levels.
An SNLR over 60% suggests a seller’s market where demand exceeds supply and sellers have the advantage.
Majority of Canadian Markets are Balanced or Favouring Buyers
When we last analyzed this data in the spring, there weren’t any markets favouring buyers, but now that competition is less heated four buyers’ markets have emerged: Niagara Region, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington and Victoria. Of those four, Niagara Region and Greater Toronto have the lowest SNLR at 32%, indicating buyers in these areas have plenty of homes to choose from and will face less competition when buying. Niagara Region also boasts a relatively lower average home price for Ontario at $639,900, giving buyers an opportunity to snatch up an affordable home without facing bidding wars.
Eight markets we analyzed are currently balanced, including Greater Vancouver and Montreal CMA, meaning competition is easing. In October 2022, Kitchener-Waterloo and Sudbury were favouring sellers, but both markets’ conditions have balanced out with SNLRs of 51% and 58% respectively. Of the balanced markets, London and St. Thomas and Fraser Valley lean towards a buyer’s market with SNLRs of 40% and 41% respectively, suggesting buyers in these cities can benefit from a greater supply of homes.
With many of Ontario’s most in-demand markets favouring buyers or currently in a balanced state, sideline buyers who have been apprehensive about entering the market may find that now is actually the right time. Less competition and more inventory often lead to greater negotiating power. A local real estate agent can help you better understand the conditions of your market and if the timing is right.
Competition Hot in the Prairies and East Coast
Usually considered the most affordable regions of Canada, and likely contributing to why competition remains fierce, real estate markets across the Prairies and the East Coast are nearly all favouring sellers. The most competitive market right now is Regina with an SNLR of 80%, even more competitive than last year when Regina’s SNLR was 73%. The average home price in Regina in October was $308,500 – more than $400,000 less than the national average of $731,100, and undoubtedly a factor drawing in first-time and repeat buyers.
Thunder Bay and Calgary follow, both with an SNLR of 79% and though this remains high, both cities have become less competitive as their SNLRs last year were at 90% and 84% respectively. Unlike most other major markets where home prices have been flattening during the fall, Calgary has continued to see price growth with the average home price in October hitting a record-high of $555,400.
Compared to October 2022, most of the markets currently favouring sellers are less competitive than they were a year ago including Saint John, Halifax-Dartmouth, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Winnipeg. Only two markets shifted from a balanced market to a seller’s market this year: Saguenay CMA and Edmonton.
If you’re considering buying or selling and want to learn more about prices and sales activity in your local market, our qualified agents are here to help you! Give us a call today to learn more.
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Mackenzie Scibetta is a seasoned Content Marketing Specialist at Zoocasa, where she brings her expertise to the world of real estate. As a dedicated real estate writer, Mackenzie's primary goal is to equip home buyers and sellers with the most up-to-date market insights, enabling them to navigate their real estate ventures with confidence.
Mackenzie's writing is characterized by its depth and breadth, covering a wide range of topics related to the real estate industry. From exploring the intricacies of mortgages to meticulously tracking and analyzing trends in local markets across Canada and the U.S., Mackenzie is known for her comprehensive and data-driven reports. Her commitment to providing valuable information is evident in the consistent quality of her work.
Mackenzie's research and insights have earned her recognition from prominent media outlets. Her expertise has been featured in BNN Bloomberg, CTV News, the National Post, The Globe and Mail, and even The New York Times. These accolades underscore her position as a trusted authority in the field of real estate.