Canadian home sales fall further in July


Canadian home sales fall further in July

Ottawa, ON, August 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined further in July 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 2.1% from June to July.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July stood 11.9% below last July’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 1.8% from June to July.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 12.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged down by 0.3% y-o-y in July.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems fell 2.1% in July 2017, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. While the monthly decline was about one-third the magnitude of those in May and June, it leaves sales activity 15.3% below the record set in March.

Sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Calgary, Halifax-Dartmouth and Ottawa.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11.9% on a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis in July 2017. Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby markets. National sales net of activity in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region was little changed from one year ago.

“July’s interest rate hike may have motivated some homebuyers with pre-approved mortgages to make an offer,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Even so, sales activity continued to soften in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Meanwhile, sales and prices in Montreal continue to strengthen. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“July marked the smallest monthly decline in Greater Golden Horseshoe home sales since Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was announced in April,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests sales may be starting to bottom out amid stabilizing housing market sentiment. Time will tell whether that’s indeed the case once the transitory boost by buyers with pre-approved mortgages fades.”

The number of newly listed homes slipped further by 1.8%, led by the GTA. Many other markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region have also seen new supply pull back recently after having jumped immediately following the Ontario government’s announcement of its Fair Housing Plan in late April. New listings were also down in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and northern British Columbia, with the lattermost region having been hit by wildfires.

With sales down by about the same amount as new listings in July, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at a well-balanced 53.5%. By contrast, the ratio was in the high-60% range in the first quarter of 2017.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

Considering the degree and duration to which current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions).

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, more than 60% of all local markets are in balanced market territory. In the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, housing markets that recently favoured sellers have become more balanced, with some beginning to tilt toward buyers’ market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of July 2017, the highest level since January 2016. This was up from five months in June and up by more than a full month from where it stood in March.

The number of months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from where it stood prior to the Ontario government housing policy changes announced in April 2017. For the region as a whole, there were 2.6 months of inventory in July 2017. While this remains below the long-term average of just over 3 months, it is more than triple the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 12.9% y-o-y in July 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April. The deceleration in growth from June to July was the result of softening prices in the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index.

Price gains diminished in all benchmark categories, led by single family homes. Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y gains in July (+20%), followed by townhouse/row units (+15.9%), two-storey single family homes (+10.7%), and one-storey single family homes (+9.7%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 12 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by region.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and are now at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +8.7% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +14.8% y-o-y).

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark home price increases were running a little below 20% in Victoria and just above 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Benchmark price gains slowed again on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph but remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +18.1% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +12.7% y-o-y; Guelph: +23% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices further edged into positive territory on a y-o-y basis in July (+1.1%). While Regina home prices popped back above year-ago levels (+3.6% y-o-y), Saskatoon home prices remained down (-2.2% y-o-y).

Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa (+5.8% overall, led by a 6.8% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and Greater Montreal (+4.9% overall, led by a 7% increase in prices for townhouse/row units). Prices were up 5.4% overall in Greater Moncton, led by one-storey single family home prices which set a new record (+8.9%).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2017 was $478,696, down 0.3% from where it stood one year earlier. This was the first y-o-y decline in the measure since February 2013, reflecting fewer sales in the GTA and Greater Vancouver on a y-o-y basis.

Because these 2 markets nonetheless remain highly active and expensive, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto upwardly skew the national average price. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims almost $100,000 from the national average price ($381,297).

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales drop again in June


Canadian home sales drop again in June

Ottawa, ON, July 17, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales cooled further in June 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales dropped 6.7% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June stood 11.4% below last June’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 1.5% from May to June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 15.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in June 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged up just 0.4% y-o-y in June.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems fell 6.7% in June 2017, the largest monthly decline since June 2010. With sales having also declined in each of the two previous months, activity in June came in 14.1% below the record set in March.

June sales were down from the previous month in 70% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Monthly declines were also posted in all surrounding Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11.4% on a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis, much of which reflected a significant drop in GTA sales activity. Nonetheless, half of all local housing markets recorded y-o-y sales declines. By contrast, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St. Thomas, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax-Dartmouth topped the list of Canadian cities where home sales surpassed year-ago levels.

“Canadian economic and job growth have been improving, which is good news for housing demand,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “However, it also means that interest rates have begun to rise, which may impact homebuyer confidence – particularly in pricier markets like Toronto and Vancouver where recent housing policies had already moved potential buyers to the sidelines. In lower priced markets, the effect of higher interest rates on housing affordability will be relatively muted. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“Changes to Ontario housing policy made in late April have clearly prompted many homebuyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region to take a step back and assess how the housing market absorbs the changes,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The recent increase in interest rates could reinforce a lack of urgency to purchase or, alternatively, move some buyers off the sidelines before their pre-approved mortgage rate expires. In the meantime, some move-up buyers who previously purchased a home before first selling may become more motivated to reduce their asking price rather than carry two mortgages.”

The number of newly listed homes slid 1.5% in June, led by a sizeable pullback in the GTA compared to record levels in April and May. A number of other markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe also saw a pullback in new supply.

With sales down by considerably more than new listings in June, the national sales-to-new listings ratio moved further into balanced market territory at 52.8%. The ratio had been in the high-60% range just three months earlier.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in fewer than half of all local housing markets in June. The majority of markets with a ratio above 60% are located in British Columbia and Ontario, but a number of Greater Golden Horseshoe markets have downshifted into balanced territory. The ratio fell below 40% in the GTA and Barrie.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2017 – up a full month from where the measure stood in March and the highest level since January 2015.

Months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region are up from the all-time lows reached prior to the Ontario government housing policy changes announced in April 2017. For the region as a whole, there were 2.5 months of inventory in June 2017. While this remains below the long term average of just over three months, it is up sharply from an all-time low of just 0.8 months set in February and March.

Across markets in the region, months of inventory ranged from 1.5 months to 3 months in June 2017. As such, housing markets within the Greater Golden Horseshoe remain the tightest in Canada together with those on Vancouver Island and B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 15.8% y-o-y in June 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April.

Price gains diminished in all benchmark home categories, led by single family homes. Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y gains in June (+20.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+17.4%), two-storey single family homes (+15.4%), and one-storey single family homes (+12.3%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by region.

Benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have been recovering after having dipped in the second half of last year. While y-o-y price gains continue to slow (Greater Vancouver: +7.9% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +13.9% y-o-y), the trend appears poised to accelerate later this summer as price declines last year fade further in the rear view mirror.

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark home price increases were running just below 20% in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Benchmark price gains slowed on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Guelph, and particularly in Oakville-Milton but remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +25.3% y-o-y; Guelph: +25.4% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +17.4% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices remained slightly positive on a y-o-y basis in June (+0.6%), while Regina and Saskatoon home prices came in below year-ago levels (-0.7% and -3.1%, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by more than the rate of overall consumer price inflation in Ottawa (+5.2% overall, led by a 6.2% increase in both one and two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+4.2% overall, led by a 6.9% increase in prices for townhouse/row units) and Greater Moncton (+4.7% overall, led by a 10.6% increase in prices for townhouse/row units).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average prices are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2017 was $504,458, up just 0.4% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $100,000 from the national average price ($394,660).

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales drop sharply in May


Canadian home sales drop sharply in May

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a sizeable decline in May 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales dropped 6.2% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in May stood 1.6% below last May’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.3% from April to May.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 17.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) in May 2017.
  • The national average sale price advanced by 4.3% y-o-y in May.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 6.2% in May 2017 compared to April. The month-over-month (m-o-m) percentage decline was the largest since August 2012.

While May sales were down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, the sizeable national decline largely reflects a 25.3% m-o-m drop in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Activity was also down significantly from the previous month among other housing

markets across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, including Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Barrie. By contrast, activity rose to multi-year highs in Montreal and Quebec City.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in May, with year-over-year (y-o-y) gains in about 60% of all local housing markets offset by the sharp drop in the GTA (20.8% y-o-y). Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal were among a number of urban centres where May sales surpassed year-ago levels.

“Recent changes to housing policy in Ontario have quickly caused sales and listings to become more balanced in the GTA,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Meanwhile, the balance between supply and demand in Vancouver is tightening up, while many places elsewhere in Canada remain amply supplied. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“This is the first full month of results since changes to Ontario housing policy made in late April. They provide clear evidence that the changes have resulted in more balanced housing markets throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe region,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “For housing markets in the region, May sales activity was down most in the GTA and Oakville. This suggests the changes have squelched speculative home purchases.”

The number of newly listed homes edged up a further 0.3% in May following April’s jump of almost 10%. New listings in May remained high in and around the GTA; however, the York Region of the GTA posted the largest month-over-month decline in new supply. Similar percentage declines were also evident for new listings in Oakville-Milton and Barrie.

With sales down considerably in May, the national sales-to-new listings ratio moved out of sellers’ territory and back into balanced market territory for the first time since late 2015. The ratio stood at 56.3% in May 2017, down from 60.2% in April and the high-60% range over the first three months of this year.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in more than half of all local housing markets in May, the majority of which are located in British Columbia and southwestern Ontario. The ratio is above 70% for Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and above 60% for Montreal. By contrast, the ratio softened sharply in the GTA, closing out the month at 41%.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of May 2017, up from 4.3 months in April and 4.1 months in March. This returns the measure to where it was for much of 2016.

With new listings having surged and sales having declined in some markets within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the number of months of inventory in the region is up from all-time lows. That said, housing markets in the region remain among the tightest in Canada, with most urban centres in the region still registering less than two months of inventory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 17.9% y-o-y in May 2017 compared to 19.8% in April. Price gains slowed sharply for single family homes.

Price gains accelerated for apartment units, which posted the largest y-o-y gains in May (+20.5%). Meanwhile, prices gains braked for benchmark low-rise homes (townhouse/row units: +19.3% y-o-y; two-storey single family homes: +18.4% y-o-y; one-storey single family homes: +14.5% y-o-y).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have been recovering and have either reached new heights or are trending toward them (Greater Vancouver: +8.8% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +14.7% y-o-y). Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark home price increases remained in the 20% range in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Price gains slowed on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto and particularly in Oakville-Milton but remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +29% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +23.9% y-o-y). Price growth remained in the mid-20% on a y-o-y basis in Guelph.

Calgary and Regina traded places in May, with Calgary prices having posted the first y-o-y gain (+0.2%) in almost two years and Regina prices having moved into negative territory (-1.7%) for the first time since January 2016. Saskatoon home prices remained down from year-ago levels (-2.8%) for the 22nd consecutive month.

Benchmark home prices rose by more than the rate of overall consumer price inflation in Ottawa (+4.4% overall, led by a 5.4% increase in two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+3.6% overall, led by a 4.6% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and Greater Moncton (+6.1% overall, led by a 13.1% increase in prices for townhouse/row units).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2017 was $530,304, up 4.3% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $130,000 from the national average price ($398,546).

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

CREA Updates Resale Housing Market Forecast


CREA Updates Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2017 The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2017 and 2018.

Housing market trends continue to diverge considerably among regions along four general themes: British Columbia, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, oil and natural resource dependent provinces, and everywhere else.

In British Columbia, activity is showing early signs of recovering from last year’s correction in some areas of the province. This suggests home buying sentiment may be starting to improve.

In Ontario, evidence suggests that housing market sentiment has similarly cooled following housing policy changes made by the provincial government in April 2017. Trends for the province are softening, with home sales and price growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region slowing.

Sales activity is still running at lower levels, and supply remains elevated, in the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This has resulted in somewhat softer price trends in the two western provinces and more pronounced price declines in Newfoundland and Labrador. Even so, activity in Alberta has firmed up compared to the low reached in early 2016 and the balance between supply and demand in the province has been tightening. By comparison, the balance between supply and demand in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland is increasingly favouring buyers.

To varying degrees, housing markets in Manitoba, Northern and Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had a breakout year in 2016, with rising sales drawing down previously elevated levels of supply. So far this year, more balanced market conditions have remained in all of these regions.

Access to financing and affordability for potential home buyers has been reduced by tighter federal regulations announced late last year, together with recent increases in mortgage default insurance premiums and changes to Ontario housing policies. With little more than a month having passed since the provincial changes were announced and implemented, the combined impact of policy changes on home buyer and seller sentiment, sales, listings, and the balance between the two pose potential upside and downside forecast risks.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to decline by 1.5% to 527,400 units in 2017. This is little changed compared to CREA’s previous forecast at the national level, with an upward revision to the sales forecast for British Columbia offsetting a downward revision to Ontario’s.

Sales in British Columbia are still forecast to decline in 2017 compared to the all-time record in 2016 (-9%). Newfoundland & Labrador is also forecast to see a sizeable decline in sales in 2017 (-11.7%), continuing a softening trend that stretches back nearly a decade. Smaller declines in activity are forecast for Saskatchewan (-4.4%), Ontario ( 2.1%) and Prince Edward Island ( 5.3%).

Alberta is forecast to have the largest increase in activity in 2017 (+10.2%); however, this would still leave sales in the province below its 10-year average.

Elsewhere, sales activity is forecast this year to be little changed from last year’s levels in Manitoba (+0.3%) and Nova Scotia (-0.4%), while activity in Quebec and New Brunswick is projected to increase modestly (+3.6% and +1.9%, respectively).

The national average price is forecast to rise by 7.4% to $526,000 in 2017. Ontario is forecast to post the only large average price gain in 2017 (+16%), which would nonetheless represent a moderation from where it is currently for the year-to-date.

Only Newfoundland and Labrador (-5.4%) and Saskatchewan (-1.6%) are forecast to see average price declines in 2017, in line with historically elevated supply in those two provinces. Average price gains are forecast to be around the 2% to 3% range in most other provinces in 2017.

In 2018, national sales are forecast to number 523,200 units, representing a decline of 0.8% compared to the 2017 forecast. Most of the annual decline is expected to result from fewer sales in British Columbia and Ontario following expected interest rate increases later in the year.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 1.8% to $535,400 in 2018, with an expected gain of about 5% in Ontario balancing a decline of almost 4% in British Columbia. The forecast increase in Ontario reflects an expected calming of home buying sentiment and modest rebound in sales in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. The expected decline in average price for British Columbia is also in part compositional, with Vancouver sales as a share of provincial activity likely to decline as mortgage interest rates rise.

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are projected to see small average price declines in 2018, with home price increases elsewhere forecast to more or less track overall consumer price inflation in 2018.

– 30 –

About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through more than 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

 

Canadian home sales drop in April


Canadian home sales drop in April

Ottawa, ON, May 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined in April 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 1.7% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April was down 7.5% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% from March to April.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 19.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in April 2017.
  • The national average sale price rose 10.4% y-o-y in April.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 1.7% in April 2017 from the all-time record set in March.

April sales were down from the previous month in close to two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and offset by gains in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 7.5% year-over-year, with declines in close to 70% of all local markets. Sales were down most in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where activity continues to run well below last year’s record-levels. The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April last year.

“Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of last year but the gap has started to close,” CREA President Andrew Peck. “Meanwhile, sales are up in Calgary and Edmonton from last year’s lows and trending higher in Ottawa and Montreal. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool. Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers.”

The number of newly listed homes jumped 10% in April 2017, led overwhelmingly by a 36% increase in the GTA. Housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe also saw similar percentage increases.

The jump in new listings and drop in sales eased the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 60.1% in April compared to 67.3% in March.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in just over half of all local housing markets in April, mostly in British Columbia and southwestern Ontario. The GTA downshifted into the middle of the balanced range in April, while Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have returned to sellers’ market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2017, up slightly from 4.1 months in March when it fell to its lowest reading in almost a decade.

Although new listings surged in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, inventories remain tight at near or below one month across the region. Ontario’s recent changes to housing policy were announced late in the month, so their full effect on the balance between supply & demand has yet to be determined.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 19.8% y-o-y in April 2017. Price gains accelerated for all benchmark housing categories tracked by the index.

Two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year price gains (+21.8%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+19.9%), apartment units (18.8%) and one-storey single family homes (17.2%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have been recovering, are up from levels one year ago, and are now at new heights or trending toward them (Greater Vancouver: +11.4% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +18% y-o-y).

Meanwhile, benchmark home price gains remained in the 20% range in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. Price gains were in the 30% range in Greater Toronto and Oakville-Milton, and ranged in the mid-20% in Guelph.

By comparison, home prices eased in Calgary (-0.9% y-o-y) and Saskatoon (-2.6% y-o-y) and are now about 5.5% below their peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+0.4% overall, led by a 2% increase in apartment prices), Ottawa (+4% overall, led by a 4.9% increase in two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+3.7% overall, led by a 5.5% increase in prices for townhouse/row units) and Greater Moncton (+4.8% overall, led by a 12.7% increase in prices for townhouse/row units).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in April 2017 was $559,317, up 10.4% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $150,000 from the average price.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales edge higher from February to March


Canadian home sales edge higher from February to March

Ottawa, ON, April 18, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were up on a month-over-month basis in March 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.1% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March was up 6.6% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 2.5% from February to March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 18.6% year-over-year (y-o-y) in March 2017.
  • The national average sale price increased by 8.2% y-o-y in March.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 1.1% in March 2017, surpassing the previous monthly record set in April 2016 by one-quarter of a percent.

March sales were up from the previous month in more than half of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, London & St. Thomas and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March was up 6.6% year-over-year, with gains in close to 75% of all local markets. Sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) posted the biggest increase, which offset a decline in the number of homes changing hands in Greater Vancouver.

“The current strength in national home sales mainly speaks to what’s going on in and around Toronto,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Elsewhere, sales either remain slow or well below previous heights. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“The latest Canadian housing market statistics suggest that the drum-tight housing market balance in Toronto and nearby cities stands in contrast to housing market trends elsewhere in Ontario and other provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Because housing market balance varies by location, federal or provincial policy measures aimed at cooling demand in Toronto risk destabilizing housing markets elsewhere.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 2.5% in March 2017, led by gains in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

With new listings having climbed by more than sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 67.4% in March compared to 68.3% in February.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above the sellers’ market threshold in about 60% of all local housing markets in March, the majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of March 2017, down from 4.2 months in February and the lowest level for this measure in almost a decade. The number of months of inventory in March 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Barrie & District, parts of the Niagara Region and parts of cottage country.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 18.6% y-o-y in March 2017. Price gains accelerated for all benchmark housing categories tracked by the index.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+21%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+17.9%), one-storey single family homes (16.6%) and apartment units (16.3%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have been recovering in recent months after having dipped in the second half of last year. On a year-over-year basis, home prices in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver remain well above year-ago levels (+19.4% y-o-y and +12.7% y-o-y respectively).

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark price increases were in the 20% range in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. Guelph recorded a similar price gain, while Greater Toronto and Oakville-Milton saw prices rise in the 30% range in March.

By comparison, home prices eased by 1.2% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.5% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.4% and 5.1% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+1.7%), Ottawa (+4%), Greater Montreal (+3.3% y-o-y) and Greater Moncton (+4.7%).

Year-over-year price gains were led by different benchmark housing categories in each of these markets. In Regina, apartments posted the biggest price increase, which snapped a long series of price declines for apartments that began in early 2015. In Ottawa, prices rose most for one-storey single family homes. In Montreal, two-storey single family home prices posted the biggest gain; meanwhile in Moncton, it was townhouse/row unit prices that climbed the most.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in March 2017 was $548,517, up 8.2% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. Even so, the average price is reduced by more than $150,000 to $389,726 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Laura-Leah Shaw, REALTOR® from Vancouver, selected for national award celebrating wide range of philanthropic work


Laura-Leah Shaw, REALTOR® from Vancouver, selected for national award celebrating wide range of philanthropic work

OTTAWA, March 27, 2017 – The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation has named Laura-Leah Shaw, of Vancouver, British Columbia, the recipient of its national award – the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2017 Proudly Presented by REM.

Shaw, of RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside, was selected because of the multitude of charities and activist organizations she actively supports. From supporting Vancouver-based homeless shelters and spearheading animal rights’ groups, to dropping off items at city food banks and being the longest-serving volunteer of the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive, Shaw fully devotes herself to helping others.

For more than 15 years, Shaw has been collecting healthy food options for the Lookout Society, an emergency aid organization helping Vancouver’s most vulnerable. Last year, she delivered more than 2,500 boxes of food – as well as furniture, clothes and appliances – to the Lookout Society and similar organizations in the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. She was also the first REALTOR® to join the HomeStart Foundation more than 11 years ago, helping those who are less fortunate complete their home.

As well as going above and beyond caring for humans, Shaw is passionate about the welfare of animals. She’s president of the Anti-Vivisection Society of British Columbia, advocating for an end to animal testing, has been volunteering with the Vancouver Humane Society for 12 years and estimates having saved the lives of thousands of animals.

“Laura-Leah is a relentless force for good in her community,” said Ralph Fyfe, chair of the Canadian REALTORS® Care Foundation. “Her noble commitment to helping others and working towards creating a cruelty-free world is truly inspiring.”

In recognition of the award, the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation will be donating $5,000 to Animal Justice Canada – a registered non-profit animal law organization close to Shaw’s heart.

“Being honoured with the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award is truly humbling. It’s not an award for me, it’s an award for all the people and animals in need that we can touch and help,” Shaw said. “Helping those in need feeds my soul. I hope to be able to use the award to bring new ideas of how to help and encourage the generous giving spirit in even more REALTORS®.”

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Award was established in 2015 to honour REALTORS® who do outstanding charitable work in the communities where they live and work. The Foundation’s inaugural winner was Vince Mirabelli of Thunder Bay, Ontario. A selection committee reviews nominees and chooses a winner based on the REALTOR®’s personal contribution and commitment to supporting one or more registered charities in Canada.

– 30 –

About the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation is the REALTOR® community’s national charitable foundation, founded in 2007 and funded by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Our Foundation is dedicated to inspiring, supporting and sharing REALTORS®’ charitable achievements in their communities and raising awareness about the charities they care about.

From 2012 to 2015 alone, the Canadian REALTOR® community reported giving in excess of $91.2 million to the various charities close to their hearts. Please visit www.REALTORSCare.ca to learn more about how REALTORS® are making a difference in communities across Canada.

About the Canadian Real Estate Association

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate boards and associations.

For further information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales climb in February


Canadian home sales climb in February

Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were up on a month-over-month basis in February 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 5.2% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in February was down 2.6% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes was up 4.8% from January to February.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in February was up 16% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price edged up 3.5% y-o-y in February.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 5.2% month-over-month in February 2017 to reach the highest level since April 2016.

While February sales were up from the previous month in about 70% of all local markets, the national increase was overwhelmingly driven by an increase in activity across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and environs.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 2.6% from levels for the same month last year. The decline reflects a moderation in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia compared to extraordinarily elevated levels recorded one year ago.

“Housing market trends continue to differ by region,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “Homes are selling briskly throughout the Greater Toronto Area and nearby communities. Elsewhere, competition among potential buyers is less intense, so listings take longer to sell. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“In and around Toronto, many potential move-up buyers find themselves outbid in multiple-offer situations amid a short supply of listings,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “As a result, they aren’t putting their current home on the market. It’s something of a vicious circle from the standpoint of a supply shortage and a challenge for first-time and move-up home buyers alike. By contrast, housing markets in urban markets elsewhere in Canada are either balanced or are amply supplied. Because housing market conditions vary by region, further tightening of mortgage regulations aimed at cooling the housing market in one region may destabilize it elsewhere.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 4.8% in February 2017, led by the GTA and nearby markets following a sharp drop in January. More than one-third of all local housing markets saw new listings recede from levels the previous month, including those in the Prairies, northern Ontario and the Atlantic region. Meanwhile, new listings in the Greater Vancouver region fell significantly from January levels, having retreated by nearly 25% to reach the lowest level since 2001.

With similar monthly increases in both sales and new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 69.0% in February, little changed from 68.7% in January.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in almost 60% of all local housing markets in February, the majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2017, down from 4.5 months in January and the lowest level for this measure in almost a decade.

The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country).

The number of months of inventory in February 2017 stood below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Barrie & District and the Kawartha Lakes region.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 16% y-o-y in February 2017. This was up from January’s gain reflecting an acceleration in home price increases, particularly for single family homes in and around Toronto.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+17.9%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+16%), one-storey single family homes (15%) and apartment units (13.7%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices are slightly off their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+21.4% y-o-y and +14% y-o-y respectively).

Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island, as well as in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 30% in February.

By comparison, home prices were down by 1.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.2% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.6% and 5.1% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.5%), Ottawa (+3.8%), Greater Montreal (+3.3% y-o-y) and Greater Moncton (+1.2%).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2017 was $519,521, up 3.5% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

That said, Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $150,000 to $369,728 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Market Forecast


CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2017 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2017 and 2018.

Canadian housing market trends continue to display considerable regional divergence. In British Columbia, activity in the Lower Mainland has cooled markedly from all-time highs recorded early last year; however, sales and price pressures elsewhere in the province remain historically strong.

In the resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador, sales activity is still running at lower levels and supply is elevated. This has resulted in weakened price trends for these provinces.

In housing markets around the Greater Toronto Area and including the furthest reaches of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country), the balance between supply and demand has become increasingly tight. This is expected to lead to continued double-digit price growth, resulting in further erosion in affordability and sales activity in the absence of a significant and sustained rise in new supply.

Elsewhere, housing markets in places like Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have all experienced, to varying degrees, a breakout year in 2016 following a number of years of stagnation, with rising sales drawing down elevated supply.

Recently tightened mortgage rules, higher mortgage default insurance premiums and an expected rise in mortgage interest rates all represent headwinds to affordability in all Canadian housing markets. It will be some time before their full impact on housing markets is evident.

In some regions, the recently tightened “stress test” for mortgage financing qualification will force some first-time buyers to re-think how much home they can afford and may lead to a drop in home purchases as they shop for a lower priced home. In regions where there is a shortage of lower-priced inventory, some sales may be delayed as buyers save longer for a larger down payment.

In markets like Vancouver and Toronto, where single family homes are in short supply and there are few affordable options, some buyers may find themselves priced out of the market entirely. In Toronto, the stress test for mortgage qualification may prompt some buyers to move further out into communities located in the Greater Golden Horseshoe where homes are more affordably priced.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to decline by 3% to 518,700 units in 2017. In line with CREA’s previous forecast, the upward revision to the sales forecast for Ontario offsets a downward revision to British Columbia’s.

British Columbia is forecast to see the largest decline in sales in 2017 (-17.5%), followed by Prince Edward Island (‑10.8%). Activity in both provinces is retreating from all-time highs reached last year. Newfoundland & Labrador is also forecast to see a decline in sales in 2017 (-8.4%), continuing a softening trend that stretches back nearly a decade.

Alberta is forecast to have the largest increase in activity in 2017 (+5%) that still leaves it nearly 10% below the 10-year average.

Elsewhere, sales activity is forecast to be little changed from 2016 to 2017. Ontario sales are forecast to rise by less than 1% in 2017, as strong demand runs up against an increasingly acute supply shortage.

In provinces where economic and housing market prospects are closely tied to the outlook for oil and other natural resource industries, average prices are showing tentative signs of stabilizing in Alberta while softening in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

While prices are still rising rapidly in Ontario, British Columbia has seen a compositional shift in the average price that reflects softer sales activity in the Lower Mainland which has some of the most expensive real estate in Canada.

Average prices in other provinces are either rising modestly or holding steady, reflecting well balanced supply and demand.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 4.8% to $513,500 in 2017, with significant regional variations. The average price is expected to retreat by more than 5% in British Columbia as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, by 2.8% in Saskatchewan while rising by more than 15% in Ontario.

In other provinces where average price last year began showing tentative signs of improving, average price gains are forecast to hold below the rate of inflation in 2017 as the impact of recent regulatory changes and higher expected mortgage rates lean against stronger demand and tighter market conditions.

In 2018, national sales are forecast to number 513,400 units, representing a decline of 1% compared to the 2017 forecast. Most of the annual decline is expected result from fewer sales in Ontario.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 5% to $539,400 in 2018, reflecting ongoing market tightness in Ontario and a further return to more normal levels in British Columbia. Price gains outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe are not expected to approach the increase in the national average price.

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are projected to see average prices decline in 2018 by less than 1%. In most other parts of Canada, home price increases are forecast to more or less track overall consumer price inflation in 2018.

– 30 –

About The Canadian Real Estate Association

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through more than 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

 

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca­

 

Canadian home sales edge down from December to January


Canadian home sales edge down from December to January

Ottawa, ON, February 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were down slightly in January 2017 on a month-over-month basis.

Highlights:

  • National home sales declined 1.3% from December 2016 to January 2017.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in January was up 1.9% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% from December 2016 to January 2017.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in January was up 15.0% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price was little changed (+0.2%) y-o-y in January.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems edged down by 1.3% month-over-month in January 2017, putting them at the second lowest monthly level since the fall of 2015 and only slightly above levels recorded last November when recently tightened mortgage regulations came into effect.

Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by three of Canada’s largest urban centres: the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. While sales were up from year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local housing markets including in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St Thomas, and Montreal, they were down significantly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

“Canadian homebuyers face some challenges this year, including new mortgage rules that make it harder to qualify for a mortgage and regulatory changes that will push up mortgage financing costs,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “It will take some time to gauge the extent to which these challenges will weigh on home buyers in different housing markets across Canada. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“The shortage of homes available for sale has become more severe in some cities, particularly in and around Toronto and in parts of BC,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Unless sales activity drops dramatically, the outlook for home prices remains strong in places that face a continuing supply shortage.”

The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% in January 2017, the second consecutive monthly decline. New listings were down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the GTA and environs across Vancouver Island.

With the monthly decline in new listings surpassing the decline in sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 67.7% in January compared to 64.0% in December and 60.2% in November.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in about half of all local housing markets in January, the vast majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario. A monthly decline in newly listed homes further tightened housing markets that were already in sellers’ market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2017 – unchanged from December 2016 and a six-year low for the measure.

The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). The number of months of inventory in January 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) now includes Oakville-Milton and Guelph, and has been historically revised to ensure that all aggregate measures remain comparable.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 15.0% y-o-y in January 2017. This was up slightly from December’s gain, reflecting an acceleration in apartment and townhouse/row unit price increases.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+16.8%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+15.8%), one-storey single family homes (+14.4%) and apartment units (+13.3%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 10 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have receded from their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+24.9% and +15.6% respectively).

Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island together with Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 26% in January.

By comparison, home prices were down 2.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.0% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.9% and 4.3% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.8%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Greater Montreal (+3.1%). In Greater Moncton, home prices for the market overall held steady (-0.2%), reflecting an increase in townhouse row units prices (5.8%) that was offset by a decline in prices for one-storey single family homes (-1.0%).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2017 was $470,253, almost unchanged (+0.2%) from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

That said, Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $120,000 to $351,998 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

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