COVID-19 pandemic drives record home sales in Canada

OTTAWA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Home sales in Canada jumped 7.2 percent in November and December of 2020, setting a new all-time record, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) on Friday.

The seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 714,516 units in December 2020, the first time on record that monthly sales at seasonally adjusted annual rates ever topped the 700,000 mark.

The month-over-month increase in national sales activity from November to December was driven by gains of more than 20 percent in the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver Area.

Actual sales activity posted a 47.2 percent year-on-year gain in December, the largest year-over-year increase in monthly sales in 11 years.

It was a new record for the month of December by a margin of more than 12,000 transactions. For the sixth straight month, sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019.

For 2020 as a whole, some 551,392 homes traded hands in the country, a new annual record. It was an increase of 12.6 percent from 2019 and was 2.3 percent above the previous record set in 2016.

The actual national average home price in the country was a record 607,280 Canadian dollars in December 2020, up 17.1 percent from the same month last year.

The national average price is heavily influenced by sales in Greater Vancouver Area and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada's most active and expensive housing markets.

Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost 130,000 Canadian dollars from the national average price.

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