Are sellers and new listings finally returning to Canada's housing market?

A significant trend has been noted of late

Are sellers and new listings finally returning to Canada's housing market?

Real estate boards saw an increased number of listings across all major markets in September as sellers return to the housing market, according to a new report by RBC Economics.

The banking giant said high interest rates have continued to restrain real estate activity throughout the country, with borrowing costs often prohibitive amid a series of rate hikes over the past 18 months.

Year-over-year, Toronto saw a 44% increase in new home listings. There was a 2% increase in home sales in Montreal over the past month while there was a 0.4% decrease in home prices in Vancouver in September.

Home sales were seen to be weakening in the major markets, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario as the supply-demand conditions had been easing, relieving the upward pricing pressure that occurred during spring. Following this, the MLS Home Price Index slightly fell in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Toronto in September and August.

However, in Calgary, the supply and demand within the housing market continued to be tight and was now considered as the hottest market in the country. Home prices saw an 8.7% annual increase. The demand continued to be high because of the growth in the population as well as the low ownership costs in comparison to British Columbia and Ontario.

The report stated that prices do not appear to be letting up any time soon, projecting little change in the coming months.

Homebuyer demand was projected to be much more muted as higher interest rates, affordability challenges, and economic uncertainty continue. The interest rates may also continue exerting pressure on homeowners to sell which can continue the flow of new listings.

Such trends may continue to give buyers more pricing power in the coming months and drive prices down further in Ontario and restrain gains in other parts of the country.