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Montreal has dethroned Ottawa as Canada’s most in-demand housing market, according to the Scotiabank Housing Market Watch for August 2019.

Quebec’s largest city earned the spot with a sales-to-new listings ratio of 79.3 percent, the highest of any of the 31 markets included in the monthly ranking.

Montreal’s sales-to-new listings ratio suggests that roughly eight homes sell for every 10 that are listed on the market, putting the market deep into seller’s territory.

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Typically, ratios between 40 to 60 percent reflect market balance, with anything below that range suggesting a market favours buyers and anything above benefitting sellers, who can raise prices as homebuyers compete over a limited number of listings.

But the ratio isn’t the only metric Scotiabank considers when ranking the markets.

Scotiabank also considers where the current ratio sits in relation to the long-term average, hence why Sudbury is in the third spot with a ratio of 71.1 percent despite fourth-place Thunder Bay reaching 77.3 percent last month.

“Conditions in Ottawa, London, Windsor, and major cities in New Brunswick remained tilted towards sellers,” writes Marc Desormeaux, a Scotiabank provincial economist, in the report.

Toronto, Canada’s most active housing market, was in balanced territory this August, taking the 18th spot with a sales-to-new listings ratio of 58.8 percent.

While Toronto’s housing market has landed on its feet, many western markets remain depressed.

“The data continued to point to excess housing supply in centres in Canada’s net oil-producing regions, but only Regina was officially in buyers’ market territory. That came despite broad-based home sales increases in August,” Desormeaux continues.

Saskatoon tumbled one spot from July to become the market that is most tilted towards buyers. It’s sales-to-new listings ratio was 41.8 percent.

“The data continue to point to tightening housing market conditions, especially in the GGH (Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe) and Southern BC, though demand and supply remain roughly in line in most major cities,” says Desormeaux.

“The pace of price appreciation is also far more manageable than at the heights those markets reached in 2016–17.”

See the full 31-market list below:

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