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Canadian Condo Sales Decline This Year Due to Challenging Market

By RealtyBiz News | October 23, 2023

Navigating Canada's real estate market can feel like sailing through a storm. The perfect storm, really. Many people have noticed condo sales sinking throughout the country this year due to a variety of factors. High-interest rates, strict mortgage rules, and economic slowdowns have all been responsible for the decline in sales in most markets.

Don't abandon the ship just yet, however, because not only is there hope for an eventual turning of the tides, but some markets are already red-hot for condo sales. Whether you're a first-time buyer, investor, or seller, it's time to chart a course through this challenging market.

Canadian Condo Market Overview

Despite the bleak picture that Canada's overall market paints, some cities have actually seen an impressive increase in condo sales during the year. These red-hot markets highlight possible reasons that the rest of Canada might see a turnaround soon.


Simply put, Calgary condo sales are booming. This is a heavy contrast with the national market that Canadian real estate data reveals. Local real estate boards report an uptick in condo apartment transactions, mainly driven by affordability factors compared to other provinces. The city's condo market offers a more accessible entry point for first-time buyers, attracting new listings and diverse investors.

The condo market in Calgary has seen an over 20% rise in housing market sales compared to last year, even with high mortgage rates, bucking the national trend. The prosperous condo market in Calgary is evidence of the city's robust economy, consistent population growth, and the allure of the lifestyle options that are available there. Most of all, sales have been buoyed by relative affordability.

However, it's worth noting that, despite this surge, condo sales in Calgary have also faced challenges. The increasing demand due to the low benchmark home price has put pressure on condo supply, making the lack of newly listed properties an ongoing concern for many buyers.


In Edmonton, you'll find a slightly cooler narrative unfolding in the condo market, with sales increasing by 3% in contrast to the overall Canadian trend. While not as red-hot as Calgary's thriving real estate boom, Edmonton has consistently been above the nationwide average in sales this year.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, Edmonton's housing market is showing resilience as condo sales continue to rise. Despite the fluctuations in the real estate scene, Edmonton's home sales are performing better as well.

The city's average home price and supply remain stable, making it an attractive option for buyers. However, as in many markets, rising prices and increased demand may put a strain on affordability in the future, as is the case in Calgary.


On the flip side, you'll find that Toronto's condo market has had a different trajectory, experiencing a decline in market activity. This downturn, a result of the challenging buyer's market, has been felt across all Canadian real estate, with Toronto being no exception.

Condo sales have dipped, reflecting the volatility of home prices and the overall uncertainty. The once-robust condo sector is now navigating a challenging market landscape, slowing sales as buyers and sellers grapple with fluctuating prices.

In response to this decline, some experts suggest that the long-term average of Toronto's condo market may shift towards more affordable housing options to attract buyers.

Greater Vancouver

Vancouver's real estate market has faced a downturn this year, with average prices contributing to sluggish condo sales. The cost of living in Greater Vancouver has always been high, and the present scenario has exacerbated the situation for potential buyers. The steep prices and interest rates are causing many would-be buyers to reconsider their options or delay their purchasing plans.

The decline in condo sales in Vancouver clearly indicates the current challenging conditions in the Canadian housing market. It's a trend that's worth watching, as it could have significant implications for the future of the national housing market.

Record-Breaking Performance

Despite the downturn in Vancouver, you'll find that Calgary's market performance has been nothing short of record-breaking, particularly in the condominium segment. Amid a challenging market with increasing interest rates, Calgary's housing markets have proven resilient, with Canadian home sales seeing an unprecedented surge in this city.

The affordability of condominiums, which attracts first-time buyers and investors from within and outside the city, is a significant contributor to this market's record-breaking performance. Despite the overall decrease in market activity, Calgary has managed to defy the odds, offering a beacon of hope in an otherwise uncertain landscape.

The city's market resilience underscores the dynamic nature of Canadian real estate, reminding everyone that even in challenging times, there are pockets of growth and opportunity. This resilience is certainly something to keep an eye on when navigating the future of the Canadian housing market.

Factors Influencing Housing Market Activity

The Canadian market for condos, an integral part of the broader housing market, is subject to various factors influencing its performance. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) closely monitors this segment, providing valuable insights into trends and market dynamics.

Increasing prices

The continuous rise in housing prices, particularly in more attractive markets, has played a role in housing sales activity. A large number of prospective purchasers are looking for homes in regions where prices are more affordable. One of the significant factors contributing to this shift is the recent series of interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada. The cost of borrowing money has gone up as a result of these rate hikes, which has discouraged some prospective buyers from entering the market.

Disconnect between buyers and sellers

National home sales data and market reports indicate a challenging buyer market where demand outweighs supply. The plethora of challenges has reduced new listings across the nation. Many potential buyers are priced out of the market due to soaring prices, causing a rift between their expectations and what sellers offer. This disconnect underscores the need for innovative solutions to bridge the affordability gap and create a more balanced market.

Real estate agents are vital to bridging this gap, but it's an uphill battle. The Canadian housing market's complexity and volatility contribute to this disconnect, as sellers hold out for higher prices while buyers struggle with affordability. This disconnect is a significant factor in Canada's 3.3% decline forecast in average home prices this year.

The shift in consumer preferences

An increasing demand for affordable markets leads many to opt for condo apartments over detached homes. This trend has implications for the national average home price, reflecting ongoing housing market changes. This shift in preferences is reshaping the landscape of Canadian real estate, with builders and developers adapting to meet the demand for more affordable housing.

Data from the home price index shows a tilt toward condos, especially in urban centers where Canadian home prices are generally steeper. However, this doesn't mean housing activity is slowing down. On the contrary, the buyer's market is merely shifting lanes, refocusing on different housing types to accommodate changing consumer demands and financial capabilities.

Housing Markets Metrics

The national average home price

The average home price is a crucial metric to gauge the health of the Canadian real estate market. Examining how this figure has changed over time offers valuable insights into the condo market's performance.

Monthly housing market report

Monthly housing market reports from local real estate boards are also essential in understanding the dynamics of the market on a regional level. These reports provide data on home sales, new listings, and market prices.

Global Economic Impact

When navigating the shift in housing preferences, it is critical to consider the impact of global economic dynamics on Canadian condo sales. The challenging market, influenced by global pandemic repercussions and the prospect of Canadian rate hikes, has undeniably affected the trend of condo sales.

Global economic factors create a sense of caution among buyers, prompting them to evaluate their real estate investments carefully. As the global economic impact trickles down, Canadian buyers are becoming more cautious. They're weighing the potential benefits of owning a condo amidst uncertain economic times.

Indeed, the market for condominiums is not isolated. It's inherently tied to the larger global economy. Thus, the decline on a year-over-year basis in Canadian condo sales reflects broader economic trends, such as inflation rates and job insecurity. Understanding these global factors will be key to making informed decisions as you navigate the real estate market.

The Future of the Canadian Condo Marketplace

While the decline in condo sales is a cause for concern, it's essential to consider the long-term perspective. Because real estate markets are cyclical, growth often follows periods of decline. According to industry experts and real estate professionals, the stabilization of the economy and the restoration of consumer confidence are expected to lead to an uptick in sales of condominiums.

Various provinces are exploring measures to make housing more affordable to stimulate the market. Changes in government policy and initiatives are being taken to lure consumers back into the market, particularly in regions where sales have been stagnant.

For those considering entering the market, seeking advice from real estate agents and staying informed about local market reports is crucial. These industry experts can offer buyers insights into the current market's conditions and assist them in making decisions based on this information.

Closing Thoughts on Canadian Real Estate

Navigating Canada's real estate market can be complex. However, understanding the factors contributing to this year's condo sales can empower you to make informed decisions. In a market characterized by challenges and opportunities, staying informed and adaptable will be your best strategy, whether you're a first-time buyer, an investor, or a current condo owner. While the overall results have been less than inspiring, record months, like those seen in Calgary, can still be had in certain markets if things line up properly for both buyers and sellers.

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