Canadian home sales edge higher in March 2019


Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged higher in March 2019 after having declined sharply the previous month.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged up 0.9% month-over-month (m-o-m) in March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.6% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 2.1% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) eased by 0.5% y-o-y in March.
  • The national average sale price fell 1.8% y-o-y.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.9% in March 2019 following a sharp drop in February, leaving activity near some of the lowest levels recorded in the last six years. (Chart A)

There was an even split between the number of markets where sales rose from the previous month and those where they waned. Among Canada’s larger cities, activity improved in Victoria, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Ottawa, whereas it declined in Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, London and St. Thomas, Sudbury and Quebec City.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity fell 4.6% y-o-y to the weakest level for the month since 2013. It was also almost 12% below the 10-year average for March. That said, in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, sales were more than 20% below their 10-year average for the month. By contrast, activity is running well above-average in Quebec and New Brunswick.

“It will be some time before policy measures announced in the recent Federal Budget designed to help first-time homebuyers take effect,” said Jason Stephen, CREA’s President. “In the meantime, many prospective homebuyers remain sidelined by the mortgage stress-test to varying degrees depending on where they are looking to buy. 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,” added Stephen.

“March results suggest local market trends are largely in a holding pattern,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “While the mortgage stress test has made access to home financing more challenging, the good news is that continuing job growth remains supportive for housing demand and should eventually translate into stronger home sales activity pending a reduction in household indebtedness,” he added.

The number of newly listed homes rose 2.1% in March. New supply rose in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by Winnipeg, Regina, Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. By contrast, new listings declined in the GTA, Ottawa and Halifax-Dartmouth.

With new listings having improved more than sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 54.2% from 54.9% in February. This measure of market balance has largely remained close to its long-term average of 53.5% since early 2018.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term averages is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in March 2019.

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

There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of March 2019, in line with the February reading and one of the highest levels for the measure in the last three-and-a-half-years. Still, it is only slightly above its long-term average of 5.3 months.

Housing market balance varies significantly by region. The number of months of inventory has swollen far above its long-term average in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador; as a result, homebuyers there have an ample choice of listings available for purchase. By contrast, the measure remains well below its long-term average in Ontario and the Maritime provinces.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) declined by 0.5% y-o-y in March 2019. It last posted a y-o-y decline of similar magnitude in September 2009. (Chart B)

Among benchmark property categories tracked by the index, apartment units were the only one to post a y-o-y price gain in March 2019 (+1.1%), while townhouse/row unit prices were little changed from March 2018 (-0.2%). By comparison, one and two-storey single-family home prices were down by 1.8% and 0.8% y-o-y respectively.

As of this release, the MLS® HPI now includes home sales via Okanagan-Mainline Real Estate Board’s MLS® System, which covers communities in the Okanagan Valley from Revelstoke to the Peachland region.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 18 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Results remain mixed in British Columbia, with prices down on a y-o-y basis in Greater Vancouver (-7.7%) and the Fraser Valley (-3.9%). Prices also dipped slightly below year-ago levels in the Okanagan Valley (-0.8%). By contrast, prices rose by 1% in Victoria and by 6.4% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Among Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, MLS® HPI benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+6.6%), the Niagara Region (+6.0%), Hamilton-Burlington (+3.7%) the GTA (+2.6%) and Oakville-Milton (+2.3%). By contrast, home prices in Barrie and District held below year-ago levels (-6.1%).

Across the Prairies, supply remains historically elevated relative to sales and home prices remain below year-ago levels. Benchmark prices were down by 4.9% in Calgary, 4.4% in Edmonton, 4.6% in Regina and 2.7% in Saskatoon. The home pricing environment will likely remain weak in these cities until demand and supply become more balanced.

Home prices rose 7.6% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 10.4% increase in townhouse/row unit prices), 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by an 8.1% increase in apartment unit prices) and 2.1% in Greater Moncton (led by a 12.9% increase in apartment unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, as averages are 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 2019 was $481,745, down 1.8% from the same month in 2018.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts close to $100,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $383,000.

– 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 125,000 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 February 2019


Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales dropped sharply from January to February 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales plummeted 9.1% month-over-month (m-o-m) in February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.4% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 3.2% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was virtually unchanged (-0.1% y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price fell by 5.2% y-o-y.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems plunged 9.1% m-o-m in February 2019 to the lowest level since November 2012. The month-over-month decline was the largest recorded since the B-20 stress test came into effect in January of last year. (Chart A)

The number of homes trading hands was down from the previous month in three-quarters of all local markets, including all major cities.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down 4.4% to reach the lowest level for month of February since 2009. It was also almost 12% below the 10-year February average. In British Columbia, Alberta as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, sales were more than 20% below their 10-year average for the month.

“For aspiring homebuyers being kept on the sidelines by the mortgage stress-test, it’s a bitter pill to swallow when policy makers say the policy is working as intended,” said Barb Sukkau. “Fewer qualified buyers means sellers are affected too. The impact of tighter mortgage regulations differs by local housing market and a professional REALTOR® remains your best source for information and guidance in negotiating the purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.

“February home sales declined across a broad swath of large and smaller Canadian cities,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The housing sector is on track to further reduce waning Canadian economic growth. Only time will tell whether successive changes to mortgage regulations went too far, since the impact of policy decisions becomes apparent only well after the fact. Hopefully policy makers are thinking about how to fine tune regulations to better keep housing affordability within reach while keeping lending risks in check.”

The number of newly listed homes declined by 3.2% in February, led by GTA regional municipalities that surround the City of Toronto, in addition to Hamilton-Burlington, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

With sales down by more than new listings in February, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 54.1% compared to 57.6% in January. Looking beyond its monthly volatility, this measure of market balance has remained close to the long-term average of 53.5% since early 2018.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term averages is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about 70% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in February 2019.

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

There were 5.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2019, a three-and-a-half-year high and a little above its long-term average of 5.3 months. That said, there are significant regional differences. The number of months of inventory has swollen far above its long-term average in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador; as a result, homebuyers there have an ample choice of listings available for purchase. By contrast, the measure remains well below its long-term average in Ontario and the Maritimes.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was little changed (-0.1%) y-o-y in February 2019. That said, it still marked the first decline in almost a decade (Chart B).

Apartment units recorded a y-o-y price increase of 2.4% in February, while townhouse/row unit prices were up 1%. By comparison, one and two-storey single-family home prices were down 1.7% and 1% y-o-y in February.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Results remain mixed in British Columbia, with prices down on a y-o-y basis in Greater Vancouver (-6.1%) and the Fraser Valley (-2.8%). By contrast, prices posted a y-o-y increase of 3% in Victoria and were up 7.7% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Among Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, MLS® HPI benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+6.8%), the Niagara Region (+6.5%), Hamilton-Burlington (+5%) and the GTA (+2.3%). By contrast, home prices were little changed (+0.2%) on a y-o-y basis in Oakville-Milton, while in Barrie and District prices remain below year-ago levels (-4.3%).

Across the Prairies, supply is historically elevated relative to sales and home prices are down from year-ago levels. Benchmark prices were down by 4.4% in Calgary, 4.5% in Edmonton, 5.1% in Regina and 3% in Saskatoon. The home pricing environment will likely remain weak in these cities until demand and supply come back into better balance.

Home prices rose 7.4% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 10.8% increase in townhouse/row unit prices), 6.2% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.8% increase in apartment unit prices) and 1.6% in Greater Moncton (led by a 7.9% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, as averages are 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 2019 was $468,350, down 5.2% from the same month in 2018.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts close to $100,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $371,000.

 

– 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 125,000 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 improve in January 2019


Ottawa, ON, February 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales in January 2019 were up from the previous month but remained below levels recorded one year ago.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 3.6% between December 2018 and January 2019.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 4% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 1% month-over-month in January.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 0.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in January.
  • The national average sale price fell by 5.5% y-o-y in January.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems climbed 3.6% in January 2019 compared to December 2018 (Chart A). The number of homes trading hands was up from the previous month in half of all local markets, led by Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) were down 4% from year-ago levels and turned in the weakest January since 2015. They also came in below the 10-year average for the month on a national basis and in Canada’s three westernmost provinces, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador.

“Homebuyers are still adapting to tightened mortgage regulations brought in last year, “said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “However, their impact on homebuyers varies by location, housing type and price segment. All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® remains your best source for information and guidance in negotiating the purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.

“Sales, market balance and home price trends are out of synch among major Canadian cities that have the greatest impact on national results,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s clear that housing market conditions remain weaker in the Prairie region and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Notwithstanding the intended consequences, tighter mortgage regulations that took effect in 2018 combined with previous tightening will weigh on economic growth this year.”

The number of newly listed homes edged up 1% in January, led by a jump in new supply in Greater Vancouver and Hamilton-Burlington.

With sales up by more than new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened to 56.7% compared to 55.3% posted in December. This measure of market balance has remained close to its long-term average of 53.5% for the last year.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term averages is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, more than half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in January 2019.

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

There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2019, in line with its long-term average. That said, the well-balanced national reading masks significant regional differences. The number of months of inventory has swollen far above its long-term average in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador; as a result, homebuyers there have an ample choice of listings available for purchase. By contrast, the measure remains well below its long-term average in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, consistent with seller’s market conditions. In other provinces, sales and inventory are more balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 0.8% y-o-y in January 2019 – the smallest increase since June 2018 (Chart B).

Apartment units recorded the largest y-o-y price increase in January (+3.3%), followed by townhouse/row units (+1.5%). By comparison, two-storey single-family home prices were little changed (+0.1%) while one-storey single-family home prices edged down (-1.1%).

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Results were mixed in British Columbia. Prices were down on a y-o-y basis in Greater Vancouver (-4.5%) and the Fraser Valley (-0.8%). By contrast, prices posted a y-o-y increase of 4.2% in Victoria and were up 9.3% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Among Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, MLS® HPI benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+7.2%), the Niagara Region (+7%), Hamilton-Burlington (+5%), Oakville-Milton (+3.9%) and the GTA (+2.7%). By contrast, home prices in Barrie and District remain below year-ago levels (-2.7%).

Across the Prairies, supply is historically elevated relative to sales, causing benchmark home prices to remain down from year-ago levels in Calgary (-3.9%), Edmonton (-2.9%), Regina (-3.8%) and Saskatoon (-2%). The home pricing environment will likely remain weak in these cities until elevated supply is reduced.

Home prices rose 7.1% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 9.5% increase in townhouse/row unit prices), 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by a 9.2% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and 1% in Greater Moncton (led by a 15.1% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, as averages are 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 2019 was

just under $455,000, down 5.5% from the same month in 2018 and marking the biggest year-over-year decline since May 2018.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $95,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $360,000.

 

– 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 125,000 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 fall further in December


Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales posted a fourth-straight monthly decline in December 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 2.5% from November to December.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 19% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from November to December.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 1.6% year-over-year (y-o-y) in December.
  • The national average sale price fell by 4.9% y-o-y in December.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 2.5% in December 2018 compared to November, capping the weakest annual sales since 2012. Monthly declines in activity since September have fully retrenched its summer rally and returned it near the lowest level since early 2013.

Transactions declined in about 60% of all local markets in December, led by lower activity in Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Ottawa, London & St. Thomas, and Halifax-Dartmouth, together with a regionally diverse mix of other large and medium sized urban centres.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 19% y-o-y in December 2018 and stood almost 12% below the 10-year average for the month of December. Sales were down from year-ago levels in three-quarters of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the Okanagan Region, Calgary, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton-Burlington.

This decline, in part, is due to elevated activity posted in December 2017 as home buyers rushed to purchase in advance of the new federal mortgage stress test that came into effect on January 1, 2018.

“What a difference a year makes,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “Sales trends were pushed higher in December 2017 by home buyers rushing to purchase before the new federal mortgage stress-test took effect at the beginning of 2018. Since then, the stress-test has weighed on sales to varying degrees in all Canadian housing markets and it will continue to do so this year. All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® remains your best source for information and guidance in negotiating the purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.

“The Bank of Canada recently said that it expects housing activity will stay ‘soft’ as households ‘adjust to the mortgage stress-test and increases in mortgage rates,’ even as jobs and incomes continue growing,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Indeed, the Bank’s economic forecast shows it expects housing will undermine economic growth this year as the mortgage stress test has pushed home ownership affordability out of reach for some home buyers,” he added.

The number of newly listed homes remained little changed (+0.2%) from November to December, with declines in close to half of all local markets offset by gains in the remainder.

With sales down and new listings steady in December, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 53.3% compared to 54.8% in November. This measure of market balance has remained close to its long-term average of 53.5% since the beginning of 2018.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term averages is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in December 2018.

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

There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of December 2018. While this remains close to its long-term average of 5.3 months, the number of months of inventory has swollen far above its long-term average in Prairie provinces as well as in Newfoundland & Labrador. By contrast, the measure remains well below its long-term average in Ontario and Prince Edward Island. In other provinces, sales and inventory are more balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 1.6% y-o-y in December 2018. The increase is smaller but still broadly in line with y-o-y gains posted since July. (Chart B)

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in December (+4.9%), followed by townhouse/row units (+3.1%). By comparison, two-storey single-family homes posted a small increase (+0.4%) while one-storey single-family home prices eased slightly (-0.3%).

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Results were mixed in British Columbia. Prices are now down on a y-o-y basis in Greater Vancouver (-2.7%) but remain above year-ago levels in the Fraser Valley (+2.5%). Meanwhile, prices posted a y-o-y increase of 6.4% in Victoria and rose 11% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Among housing markets tracked by the index in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, MLS® HPI benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+6.8%), the Niagara Region (+6.8%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.4%), Oakville-Milton (+3.3%) and the GTA (+3%). Home prices in Barrie and District remain slightly below year-ago levels (-1.1%).

Across the Prairies where supply is historically elevated relative to sales, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-3.2%), Edmonton (-2%), Regina (-5.2%) and Saskatoon (-1.2%). The home pricing environment is likely to remain weak in these housing markets until elevated supply is reduced and becomes more balanced in relation to demand.

Home prices rose 6.9% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.3% increase in townhouse/row unit prices), 6% in Greater Montreal (led by a 9.1% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and 2.5% in Greater Moncton (led by a 12.2% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends because average price trends are 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 December 2018 was just over $472,000, down 4.9% from the same month in 2017. The y-o-y decline reflects how the jump in sales in December 2017 in advance of the stress test was more pronounced in more expensive markets.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $100,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $375,000.

 

– 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 125,000 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 activity softens further in November


Ottawa, ON, December 17, 2018 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales posted another monthly decline in November 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 2.3% from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 12.6% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes declined by 3.3% from October to November.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2% year-over-year (y-o-y) in November.
  • The national average sale price retreated by 2.9% y-o-y in November.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 2.3% in November 2018, adding to the decline in October of 1.7%. While the number of homes trading hands is still up from its low point in the spring, it remains below monthly levels posted from 2014 through 2017. (Chart A)

Transactions declined in just over half of all local markets, with lower activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) and Hamilton-Burlington offsetting increased sales in Edmonton.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 12.6% y-o-y and came in below the 10-year average for the month of November. Sales were down from year-ago levels in three-quarters of all local markets, including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary, the GTA and Hamilton-Burlington.

“National sales activity has lost a bit of momentum over the past couple of months, but local market trends can be, and very often are, different by comparison,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® remains your best source for information and guidance in negotiating the purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.

“The decline in homeownership affordability caused by this year’s new mortgage stress-test remains very much in evidence,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Despite supportive economic and demographic fundamentals, national home sales have begun trending lower. While national home sales were anticipated to recover in the wake of a large drop in activity earlier this year due to the introduction of the stress-test, the rebound appears to have run its course.”

The number of newly listed homes fell by 3.3% between October and November, with new supply declining in roughly 70% of all local markets.

With new listings having declined by more than sales in November, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened slightly to 54.8% compared to 54.2% in October. This measure of market balance has remained close to its long-term average of 53.4% since the beginning of 2018.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term averages is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in November 2018.

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

There were 5.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of November 2018. While this remains in line with its long-term average of 5.3 months, the number of months of inventory is well above its long-term average in the Prairie provinces as well as in Newfoundland & Labrador. By contrast, the measure is well below its long-term average in Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In other provinces, sales and inventory are more balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2% y-o-y in November 2018. The increase is similar to gains posted since July. (Chart B)

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in November (+6%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4%). By comparison, one-storey single-family homes posted a modest increase (+0.4%) while two-storey single-family home prices held steady (+0.1%).

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. In British Columbia, home price gains have been steadily diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Fraser Valley (+4.7%) and Victoria (+7.2%). By contrast, price gains picked up elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+12.6%) and, for the first time in five years, were down (-1.4%) from year-ago levels in the GVA.

Among housing markets tracked by the index in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, MLS® HPI benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+9.3%), the Niagara Region (+7.2%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.3%), Oakville-Milton (+3.4%) and the GTA (+2.7%). Meanwhile, home prices in Barrie and District remain below year-ago levels (-2.1%).

Across the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-2.9%), Edmonton (-1.9%), Regina (-4%) and Saskatoon (-0.3%). Amid elevated supply relative to sales, the home pricing environment will remain weak in these housing markets until they become better balanced.

Home prices rose 6.6% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 7.3% increase in two-storey single-family home prices), 6.2% in Greater Montreal (led by a 9.4% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and 4.2% in Greater Moncton (led by an 11.2% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends because average price trends are 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 November 2018 was just over $488,000, down 2.9% from the same month last year.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $110,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $378,000.

– 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 125,000 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 activity eases in October


Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined between September and October 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 1.6% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 3.7% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes eased 1.1% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October.
  • The national average sale price slipped by 1.5% y-o-y in October.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018. While activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017. (Chart A)

Transactions declined in more than half of all local markets, led by Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Edmonton. Although activity did improve modestly in many markets, it was offset by a decline in sales elsewhere by a factor of two.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.7% compared to October 2017 and in line with the 10-year average for the month. While sales were down y-o-y in slightly more than half of all local markets in October, lower sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley more than offset the rise in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal by a wide margin.

“This year’s new mortgage stress-test has lowered how much mortgage home buyers can qualify for across Canada, but its effect on sales has varied somewhat depending on location, housing type and price range,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.

“National sales activity lost momentum in October,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In part, this reflects waning activity among some urban centers in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region and the absence of an offsetting rise in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even so, the balance between sales and listings in these regions points to stable prices or modest gains. By contrast, the balance between sales and listings for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland indicates a weak pricing environment for homeowners who are looking to sell.”

The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.1% between September and October, led by the GTA, Calgary and Victoria. The decline in new supply among these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in Edmonton and Greater Vancouver.

As for the balance between sales and listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio in October came in at 54.2% — close to September’s reading of 54.4% and its long-term average of 53.4%.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2018.

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

There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2018. While this remains in line with its long-term national average, the number of months of inventory is well above its long-term average in the Prairie provinces and in Newfoundland & Labrador. By contrast, Ontario and Prince Edward Island are the two provinces where the measure remains

more than one standard deviation below its long-term average. In other provinces, the number of months of inventory is closer to its long-term average and suggests that sales and inventory are well balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.3% y-o-y in October 2018 with similar gains posted in each of the three previous months. (Chart B)

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in October (+7.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+3.9%). By comparison, one-storey single-family homes posted a modest increase (+0.6%) while two-storey single-family home prices held steady.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. In British Columbia, home price gains have been diminishing on a y-o-y basis (Greater Vancouver: +1%; Fraser Valley: +6.8%; Victoria +8.5%; elsewhere on Vancouver Island: +11.8%).

By contrast, MLS® HPI benchmark price comparisons are improving on a y-o-y basis among housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region that are tracked by the index. Home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+9.3%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.8%), the Niagara Region (+6.3%), the GTA (+2.6%) and Oakville-Milton (+2.2%). While home prices in Barrie and District remain slightly below year-ago levels (-0.9%), declines there are shrinking; if current price momentum persists, home prices in December are on track to turn positive compared to December 2017.

Across the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-2.6%), Edmonton (-2.4%), Regina (-3.6%) and Saskatoon (-0.9%).

Home prices rose by 6.6% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 7.4% increase in two-storey single-family home prices), by 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by a 9.8% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 4.2% in Greater Moncton (led by a 12.4% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends because average price trends are 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 October 2018 was just under $496,800, down 1.5% from the same month last year.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $114,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $383,000.

– 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. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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 unveils redesigned REALTOR.ca website


Ottawa, ON October 18th, 2018 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently launched an improved REALTOR.ca website design that features a simpler and more powerful search function, enhanced homebuyer calculators and access to highly anticipated school catchment areas.There are a host of smaller but impactful enhancements to the site navigation, REALTOR® profiles and listing details pages, all with the goal to make it easier for homebuyers to find their dream home and drive more meaningful connections with REALTORS®. The redesign, which targets desktop users, is the second phase of a multi-phase project which delivers an improved and responsive website experience for all visitors.REALTOR.ca, the No. 1 real estate website in Canada, delivers on its promise to facilitate consumers’ real estate needs with access to an average of 300,000 REALTOR® listings at any given time, promoting the value of using a REALTOR® and facilitating connections with REALTORS®. Last year alone, it had more than 264 million visits and generated over 2.6 million leads for REALTORS®.

“The improved REALTOR.ca provides consumers with access to a trusted and comprehensive source of property listings which include sought after features like neighbourhood information and tools they need to be successful in today’s marketplace,” said Barb Sukkau, president of CREA. “We help consumers connect with local REALTORS® to support them every step of the way.”

Parents have always asked their REALTORS® about nearby schools when considering a new home. REALTOR.ca now features a tool allowing parents to view properties for sale within a particular school’s catchment area.

Buying a home is the largest investment in many consumers’ lives and REALTORS® are here to make the home buying process as simple and informed as possible. Whether searching on the go or at home, REALTOR.ca listings now include improved mortgage, land transfer tax and affordability calculators to support homebuyers in their search.

REALTOR.ca now incorporates the Living Room, a REALTOR.ca blog launched earlier this year.  The blog features passionate Canadian industry experts tackling a variety of home-related topics including market trends, home improvement, market trends, neighbourhood guides, design files and unique homes.

“REALTOR.ca is owned by REALTORS®, and as such, we are committed to continuous enhancements to improve the site to ensure it remains Canadian consumers’ first choice when looking for a new home,” added Ms. Sukkau.

– 30 –

About The Canadian Real Estate Association

REALTOR.ca is operated by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers. REALTOR.ca provides trusted, up-to-date and comprehensive property advertisements for residential, commercial and rental properties across Canada. Whether you have just started looking or you are ready to make that important purchase, REALTOR.ca connects you to valuable resources and local REALTORS® to help you find your dream property.

For additional information, please contact:

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

First-ever REALTOR.ca Hackathon yields innovative new solutions for Canadian homebuyers


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2018 – 77 developers and programmers signed up for the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) first ever REALTOR.ca hackathon over the weekend at Ottawa’s Bayview Yards. This is one of the many initiatives CREA is undertaking to ensure the continuous improvement of Canada’s #1 real estate website, REALTOR.ca

. CREA is dedicated to finding new ways to help more Canadians achieve their dreams of home ownership.

“Amazing things can happen when talented and passionate people come together with a common goal” said Barb Sukkau, president of CREA.  “CREA hosted developers from across Canada and beyond over a weekend of designing, building and “demoing” solutions that were focused on facilitating the homebuying and selling journey.”

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in an intense 48-hour hackathon in which teams quickly moved from challenge to idea, to pitching a fully functional demo to a panel of real estate and technology-focused judges. This is the first of several hackathon challenges that CREA plans to host.

“At TD, we have a strong history of finding innovative solutions to support homebuyers on their journey to homeownership and we’re proud to be a part of the inaugural REALTOR.ca hackathon,” said Roy D’Souza, Associate Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD.

The winning proposal was developed by team propGram, composed of Bahar Eghtesadi, Maryam Moafi and Reza Farahani. “We had an amazing experience and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to really dive into REALTOR.ca’s data sets”, said Bahar Eghtesadi, propGram team leader. “We’re looking forward to elaborating on our idea and optimizing it.”

Hackathon_winners_2018
Left-to-right: Michael Bourque, CEO The Canadian Real Estate Association,  propGram team members: Bahar Eghtesadi, Reza Farahani, Maryam Moafi

With this Hackathon, CREA demonstrated its commitment to maintaining REALTOR.ca as consumers’ first choice when looking for a new home by constantly adding the features they demand and expect. Participans were able to meet CREA management and staff, sowing the seeds for potential future business opportunities.

“The real estate industry in Canada is evolving rapidly and technology provides even more opportunities to improve the consumer experience,” said James Mabey, Chair of CREA’s Technology Committee. “We’re excited to work with the hackathon teams to help foster innovation that can benefit our members and enhance the consumer journey on REALTOR.ca.”

– 30 –

About the Canadian Real Estate Association

REALTOR.ca is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers. REALTOR.ca provides trusted, up-to-date and comprehensive property advertisements for residential, commercial and rental properties across Canada. Whether you have just started looking or you are ready to make that important purchase, REALTOR.ca connects you to valuable resources and local REALTORS® to help you find your dream property.

For additional information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales activity edges lower in September


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged down slightly between August and September 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged back 0.4% from August to September.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 8.9% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose by 3% from August to September.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in September.
  • The national average sale price edged up a slight 0.2% y-o-y in September.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems eased by 0.4% in September 2018, marking the first decline since April. While sales activity is still somewhat stronger compared to the first half of this year, it remains well below most other months since 2014. (Chart A)

Sales declined from August to September in slightly more than half of all local markets, led by Vancouver Island and Edmonton, along with several markets in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Region. Activity declines in these markets were offset by monthly gains in the Fraser Valley and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 8.9% compared to September 2017.

About 70% of local markets were down on a y-o-y basis, led primarily by declines in major urban centres in British Columbia, along with Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

“The balance between the number of home buyers and suitable homes varies depending on location, housing type and price range,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “Differences in market balance will likely come into sharper focus as interest rates rise and cause this year’s new mortgage stress-test to become even more restrictive. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” said Sukkau.

The number of newly listed homes rose 3% between August and September, led by the Lower Mainland and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). More than half of all local markets posted a monthly increase in new listings, which was offset by declines in excess of 3% in more than half of the remaining local markets.

“Sales activity may get all the press but it’s the balance between that and the number of homes for sale that sets the tone for pricing environment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In markets with an abundant supply of homes and slower sales activity, buyers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiations over price. However, in places where buyers are keen to make a purchase but there’s a shortage of homes for sale, sellers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to price. It will be interesting to see how supply and demand

respond to rising interest rates amid this year’s new mortgage stress-test.”

With sales down slightly and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 54.4% in September compared to 56.2% in July and August. The long-term average for this measure of market balance is 53.4%.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about three-quarters of all local markets were in balanced market territory in September 2018.

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

There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of August 2018. While this is in line with the measure’s long-term average nationally, the number of months of inventory is well above its long-term average in all Prairie provinces and in Newfoundland & Labrador.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.3% y-o-y in September 2018. The increase was in line with those posted in each of the two previous months. (Chart B)

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in September (+8.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.5%). Meanwhile, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were little changed on a y-o-y basis in September (-0.3% and -0.3% respectively).

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. In British Columbia, home price gains are diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +2.2%; Fraser Valley: +8.5%). Meanwhile, prices in Victoria were up 8.7% y-o-y in September. Elsewhere on Vancouver Island they climbed 13.2%.

Among the housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region that are tracked by the index, home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+8%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.1%), the Niagara Region (+5.9%), the GTA (+2%), and Oakville-Milton (+1.4%). By contrast, home prices slipped lower in Barrie and District (-3.6%).

Across the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-2.6%), Edmonton (-2.6%), Regina (-4.7%) and Saskatoon (-1.9%).

Home prices rose by 6.9% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 7.9% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.1% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 3.4% in Greater Moncton (led by a 10.3% increase in apartment unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are 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 September 2018 was just under $487,000, little changed (+0.2%) from the same month last year.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $104,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $383,000.

– 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. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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 activity edges higher in August


Ottawa, ON, September 17, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show a small increase in national home sales between July and August 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.9% from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.8% from August 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes was unchanged from July to August.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.5% year-over-year (y-o-y) in August.
  • The national average sale price edged up 1% y-o-y in August.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up by 0.9% in August 2018, marking a fourth consecutive monthly gain. However, sales activity is still running below levels in most other months going back to early 2014.

Roughly half of all local markets recorded an increase in sales from July to August, led again by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), along with gains in Montreal and Edmonton.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.8% y-o-y in August, due mainly to declines in major urban centres in British Columbia.

“The new stress-test on mortgage applicants implemented earlier this year continues to weigh on national home sales,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “The degree to which the stress-test continues to sideline home buyers varies depending on location, housing type and price range. 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,” said Sukkau.

“Improving national home sales activity in recent months continues to obscure significant differences in regional trends for home sales and prices,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Moreover, recent monthly sales increases are diminishing, which suggests that the recent rebound may be starting to lose steam.”

The number of newly listed homes was unchanged between July and August, as new supply gains in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) and Montreal offset declines in the GTA and Winnipeg.

With sales up slightly and new listings unchanged, the national sales-to-new listings ratio edged up to 56.6% in August compared to 56.2% in July. The long-term average for this measure of market balance is 53.4%.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in August 2018.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure for the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to 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 August 2018, right in line with the long-term average for the measure.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.5% y-o-y in August 2018.

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in August (+9.5%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.3%). Meanwhile, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were little changed on a y-o-y basis in August (+0.4% and -0.4% respectively).

As of this release, housing market coverage for MLS® HPI now includes Hamilton-Burlington and the Niagara Region.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Home price gains are diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (GVA: +4.1%; Fraser Valley: +10.7%). Prices in Victoria were up 8.5% y-o-y in August. Elsewhere on Vancouver Island, prices climbed 13.6%.

Among the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, home prices were up from year-ago levels in Hamilton-Burlington (+7.2%), the Niagara Region (+6.6%), Guelph (+5.5%), the GTA (+1.4%) and Oakville-Milton (+1.2%). By contrast, home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in Barrie and District (-2.7%).

In the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in Calgary (-2.2%), Edmonton (-2.1%), Regina (-4.8%) and Saskatoon (-2.3%).

Meanwhile, home prices rose by 7.1% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.2% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 5.9% in Greater Montreal (led by a 6.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.8% in Greater Moncton (led by a 7.5% increase in two-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® HPI provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are 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 August 2018 was just over $475,500, up 1% from the same month last year.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $94,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $382,000.

– 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. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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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