Re/Max: Many major Canadian real-estate markets have tight supply of home listings

Canada’s housing market is in tight supply after a surge in activity during January, a traditionally slow month for the industry, says real-estate giant Re/Max.

The sales organization said Wednesday that in most of the 16 major markets tracked by organization there was an unusually strong amount of activity, motivated by a series of external factors.

The uptick was felt in 87.5 per cent of the markets surveyed, while the average home price appreciated 81 per cent, it found in a survey.

Home buyers have entered the market amid expectations of higher interest rates and tighter lending, as well as the introduction of Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia and Ontario, Re/Max said.

“Affordability is the catalyst for the vast majority of purchasers in today’s housing market,” said Elton Ash, the executive vice-president of Re/Max in Western Canada.

“While home ownership is still within reach in many major centres, levels are slipping. There is a growing sense, on both sides of the fence, that the time to act is now.”

Toronto is being affected the most, with a 41 per cent decline in active home listings, while Kitchener-Waterloo is down 33 per cent. Both Ottawa and Victoria are off about 30 per cent, the survey said.

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