Home sales in Canada are likely to drop by half after sliding 14.3% in March, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

“The numbers that matter most for understanding what follows are those from mid-March on, and things didn’t really start to ratchet down until week four. Preliminary data from the first week of April suggest both sales and new listings were only about half of what would be normal for that time of year,” says Shaun Cathcart with CREA.

In some markets, the situation as of early April appeared to be even worse, with data suggesting Toronto home sales were down 76% in the week ending 5 April.

Thanks to half a year of strong price growth before the virus hit, house prices in Canada were considerably higher in March than a year earlier, up 12.5% to an average of $540,000 across the country.

Price measures for March 2020 were influenced by very tight markets and a very strong start to the spring market in many parts of Canada before physical distancing measures were implemented,” CREA said in a statement.

It noted that the number of homes listed on the market dropped in March by almost as much as sales. That means the market balance remained unchanged in March, despite the drop.

Meanwhile, real estate portal Zoocasa declared Toronto housing to be a “buyer’s market” after analyzing data for the second half of March.


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