Canada’s housing market continues to run higher despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Average house prices jumped by 18% in August from a year earlier and the number of homes sold shattered the monthly record, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), which represents more than 130,000 realtors.
Additionally, 58,645 homes were sold nationwide in August, 33% more than were sold in the same month of 2019. It’s also 6% more than the number of homes that were sold this past July, which was itself a record month.
August is typically not a very busy month for home sales. Normally, the market starts off the year slowly in the cold winter months before spiking in the spring, cooling down through the summer and getting ice cold by year’s end.
But 2020 has thrown those seasonal trends out the window as lockdowns in March and April delayed a lot of home purchases, built up demand, and pushed the buying season to the summer months.
Prices of houses throughout Canada have skyrocketed this year. CREA reports that the average price of a Canadian home that sold last month was $586,000, up 18.5% from the same month last year.
Outside of the influential markets of Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal topped the rest of Canada in terms of house prices at $493,824. Calgary was just behind Montreal with an average house price of $469,883.
CREA calculates another figure known as the “House Price Index” that it says is a better gauge of the market because it adjusts for the volume and type of housing across Canada. The Housing Price Index rose by 9.4% in August, the biggest annual rise since 2017.