Canada’s housing market continues to get even hotter as home sales set a new record in September, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
The national average house price also set a new record, rising to $604,000 – up 17.5% on last year and up from $586,000 in August.
This all comes despite Canada suffering from one of the worst recessions in its history as the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Home sales in September rose 0.9% month-over-month, with actual activity up 45.6% year-over-year.
The number of newly listed properties, however, declined by 10.2% from August to September.
Gains in prices and sales were particularly strong in Ottawa, Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Calgary.
Toronto and Montreal, meanwhile, saw declines.
Overall, about 60% of markets in the country recorded gains, CREA explained.
So far in 2020, over 400,000 homes have traded hands through MLS Systems.
"Many Canadian housing markets are continuing to see historically strong levels of activity as we enter into the fall market of this very strange year," said Costa Poulopoulos, head of CREA.
"Along with historic supply shortages in a number of regions, fierce competition among buyers has been putting upward pressure on home prices. Much of that was pent-up demand from the spring that came forward as our economies opened back up over the summer.”
Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist, said the COVID-19 disaster is playing a role in the market's surge.
“[A] wildcard factor to consider, which has no historical precedent, is the value of one’s home during this time,” he explained.
“Home has been our workplace, our kids’ schools, the gym, the park and more. Personal space is more important than ever.”