Canadian home sales inch lower in December


Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2020 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales eased between November and December 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales declined by 0.9% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in December.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 22.7% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties dropped by a further 1.8% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.8% m-o-m and 3.4% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 9.6% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems edged down 0.9% in December 2019, ending a streak of monthly gains that began last March. Activity is currently about 18% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but ends the year about 7% below the heights recorded in 2016 and 2017.

There was an almost even split between the number of local markets where activity rose and those where it declined, with higher sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary and Montreal offsetting declines in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ottawa.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 22.7% compared to a quiet month of December in 2018. Transactions surpassed year-ago levels across most of Canada, including all of the largest urban markets.

“Home price growth is picking up in housing markets where listings are in short supply,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “Meanwhile, the mortgage stress-test continues to sideline potential home buyers where supply is ample. All real estate is local, and nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen.

“The momentum for home price gains picked up as last year came to a close,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “If the recent past is prelude, then price trends in British Columbia, the GTA, Ottawa and Montreal look set to lift the national result this year, despite the continuation of a weak pricing environment among housing markets across the Prairie region.”

The number of newly listed homes slid a further 1.8% in December, leaving new supply close to its lowest level in a decade. December’s decline was driven mainly by fewer new listings in the GTA and Ottawa–the same markets most responsible for the decline in sales. Listings available for purchase are now running at a 12-year low. The number of housing markets with a shortage of listings is on the rise; should current trends persist, fewer available listings will likely increasingly weigh on sales activity.

With new listings having declined by more than sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio further tightened to 66.9% in December 2019 – the highest reading since the spring of 2004. The long-term average for this measure of housing market balance is 53.7%. Barring an unforeseen change in recent trends for the balance between the supply and demand for homes, price gains appear poised to accelerate in 2020.

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, just over half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in December 2019. That list still includes Greater Vancouver (GVA) but no longer includes the GTA, where market balance favours sellers in purchase negotiations. By contrast, an oversupply of homes relative to demand across much of Alberta and Saskatchewan means sales negotiations remain tilted in favour of buyers. Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.

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 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of December 2019 – the lowest level recorded since the summer of 2007. This measure of market balance has been falling further below its long-term average of 5.3 months. While still within balanced market territory, its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers.

National measures of market balance continue to mask significant and increasing regional variations. The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and providing fertile ground for price gains. The measure is still within balanced market territory in British Columbia but is becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.8%, marking its seventh consecutive monthly gain. It is now up 4.7% from last year’s lowest point reached in May and has toppled all previous records in each of the past five months. (Chart B)

The MLS® HPI in December was up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index.

Home price trends have generally been stabilizing in the Prairies in recent months following lengthy declines but are clearly on the rise again in British Columbia and in Ontario’s the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). Further east, price growth in Ottawa and Montreal has been ongoing for some time and strengthened toward the end of 2019.

Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, although for the most part has been regionally split along east/west lines, with declines in the Lower Mainland and major Prairie markets and gains in central and eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) rose 3.4% y-o-y in December 2019, the biggest year-over-year gain since March 2018.

Home prices in Greater Vancouver (-3.1%) and the Fraser Valley (-2%) remain below year-ago levels, but declines are shrinking. Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices logged y-o-y increases in the Okanagan Valley (+4.2%), Victoria (+2.3%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+4.2%).

Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon posted y-o-y price declines of around -1% to -2%, while the gap has widened to -4.6% in Regina.

In Ontario, home price growth has re-accelerated well above consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price gains in recent years have continued uninterrupted in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

All benchmark home categories tracked by the index accelerated further into positive territory on a y-o-y basis. One-storey single-family home prices posted the biggest increase (3.6%) followed closely by apartment units (3.4%) and two-storey single family homes (3.3%). Townhouse/row unit prices climbed a slightly more modest 2.7% compared to December 2018.

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, because 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 December 2019 was around $517,000, up 9.6% from the same month the previous year.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts more than $117,000 from the national average price, trimming it to around $400,000 and reducing the y-o-y gain to 6.7%.

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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 130,000 REALTORS® working through 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

Canadian home sales edge higher in November


Ottawa, ON, December 16, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales continued to edge higher in November 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.6% month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 11.3% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties dropped by 2.7% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.8% m-o-m and 2.6% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 8.4% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems inched up by 0.6% November 2019. Notching its ninth straight monthly gain, activity stands 20% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but 6% to 7% below heights recorded in 2016 and 2017.

There was an almost even split between the number of local markets where activity rose and those where it declined. Higher sales across much of British Columbia and in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) offset a decline in activity in Calgary.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 11.3% year-over-year in November. Transactions surpassed year-ago levels in almost all of Canada’s largest urban markets.

“Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “The mortgage stress-test doesn’t help relieve the ongoing shortage of housing in markets where sales have improved, and it continues to hammer housing demand in markets with ample supply. All real estate is local, and nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen.

“Home prices look set to continue rising in housing markets where sales are recovering amid an ongoing shortage of supply,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “By the same token, home prices will likely continue trending lower in places where there’s a significant overhang of supply, perpetuated in part by the B-20 mortgage stress-test that continues to sideline homebuyers there.”

The number of newly listed homes slid a further 2.7%, putting them among the lowest levels posted in the past decade. November’s decline was driven primarily by fewer new listings in the GTA.

Slightly higher sales and a drop in new listings further tightened the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 66.3%, which is well above the long-term average of 53.7%. If current trends continue, the balance between supply and demand makes further home price gains likely.

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, just over half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in November. That list includes the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia, but market balance there is tightening. By contrast, an oversupply of homes relative to demand across much of Alberta and Saskatchewan means sales negotiations remain tilted in favour of buyers.

Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations. 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 just 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of November 2019 – the lowest level recorded since the summer of 2007. This measure of market balance has been retreating further below its long-term average of 5.3 months. While still just within balanced market territory, its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers.

National measures of market balance continue to mask significant and increasing regional variations. The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and providing fertile ground for price gains. The measure is still within balanced market territory in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia but is becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.8%. Marking its sixth consecutive monthly gain, it now stands almost 4% above its low point reached last May.

The MLS® HPI in November was up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index.

Home price trends have generally been stabilizing in the Prairies in recent months.

While that remains the case in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, prices in Regina have again moved lower. By contrast, home price trends have clearly started to recover in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Meanwhile, prices continue to rebound in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region while continuing to trend higher in housing markets to the east of it.

Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, with a mix of gains and declines in western Canada together with price gains in eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) was up 2.6% y-o-y in November 2019, the biggest year-over-year gain since March 2018.

Home prices in Greater Vancouver (-4.6%) and the Fraser Valley (-2.9%) remain below year-ago levels but declines are shrinking. Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices logged y-o-y increases in the Okanagan Valley (+1.4%), Victoria (+1.5%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+2.8%).

Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon posted price declines of around -2% y-o-y, while the gap widened to-5.5% y-o-y in Regina.

In Ontario, price growth has re-accelerated well ahead of overall consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price growth in recent years has continued uninterrupted in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

All benchmark home categories tracked by the index accelerated further into positive territory on a y-o-y basis. Two-storey single-family home prices posted the biggest increase, rising 2.8% y-o-y. Price gains were almost as strong for apartment units (+2.6% y-o-y) and one-storey single family homes (+2.5% y o y), while townhouse/row prices climbed a more modest 1.5% compared to November 2018.

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, because 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 November 2019 was around $529,000, up 8.4% 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 housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $125,000 from the national average price, trimming it to around $404,000 and reducing the year-over-year gain to 6.9%.

 

– 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 130,000 REALTORS® working through 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

Canadian home sales hold steady in October


Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were unchanged from September to October 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales held steady on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 12.9% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties declined by 1.8% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.6% m-o-m and 1.8% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 5.8% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems remained steady in October 2019 following a string of monthly increases that began in March. Activity is now almost 20% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but remains 7% below heights reached in 2016 and 2017. (Chart A)

There was an almost even split between the number of local markets where activity rose and those where it declined. Higher sales in Greater Vancouver (GVA), the neighbouring Fraser Valley and Ottawa offset a monthly decline in activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)—particularly in Central Toronto—and Hamilton-Burlington.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity rose 12.9% year-over-year. Transactions were up from year-ago levels in 80% of all local markets in October, including all of Canada’s largest urban markets.

“Steady national activity in October hides how the mortgage stress-test remains a drag on many local housing markets where the balance between supply and demand favours homebuyers in purchase negotiations,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “That said, all real estate is local, so market balance varies depending on location, housing type, and price segment. Nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen.

“It’s a full-blown buyer’s market or on the cusp of one in a number of housing markets across the Prairies and in Newfoundland,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Homebuyers there have the upper hand in purchase negotiations and the mortgage stress-test has contributed to that by reducing the number of competing buyers who can qualify for mortgage financing while market conditions are in their favour.”

The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.8% in October, with the GTA and Ottawa posting the largest declines. Almost a third of all housing markets posted a monthly decline of at least 5%, while about a fifth of all markets posted a monthly increase of at least 5%.

Steady sales and fewer new listings further tightened the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 63.7%. This measure has been increasingly rising above its long-term average of 53.6%. Its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers; however, the national measure continues to mask significant regional variations.

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, just over two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2019, including the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Nonetheless, sales negotiations remain tilted in favour of buyers in housing markets located in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador.

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 4.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2019—the lowest level recorded since April 2017. This measure of market balance has been retreating further below its long-term average of 5.3 months. While still within balanced market territory, its current reading suggests that sales negotiations are becoming increasingly tilted in favour of sellers.

National measures of market balance continue to mask significant regional variations. The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well

below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and providing fertile ground for price gains. The measure is still well centred within balanced market territory in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.6%, marking its fifth consecutive monthly gain. (Chart B)

Seasonally adjusted MLS® HPI readings in October were up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index. (Table 1)

Recently, home price trends have generally been stabilizing in the Lower Mainland and the Prairies. While that remains the case in Calgary and Saskatoon, home prices in Edmonton and Regina have moved lower. By contrast, home price trends have started to recover in the GVA and the neighbouring Fraser Valley.

Meanwhile, price growth continues to rebound in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). In markets further east, price growth has been trending higher for the last three or four years.

Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, with mostly declines in western Canada and mostly price gains in eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) was up 1.8% y-o-y in October 2019, the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2018.

Home prices in the GVA (-6.4%) and the Fraser Valley (-4.2%) are still below year-ago levels, although declines are becoming smaller.

Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices logged y-o-y increases on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan Valley (3.1% and 2%, respectively) while having edged marginally higher in Victoria (0.5% y-o-y).

Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon posted price declines in the range of -1.5% to -2.5% on a y-o-y basis in October, while the gap between this year and last year widened sharply to -6.8% in Regina.

In Ontario, price growth has re-accelerated well ahead of overall consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price growth in recent years has continued uninterrupted in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

All benchmark home categories tracked by the index remained in positive y-o-y territory in October 2019. Two-storey single-family home prices were up most, rising 2.5% y-o-y. One-storey single family home prices rose 1.4% y-o-y, while townhouse/row and apartment units climbed by 1% and 1.2%, respectively.

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, because 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 October 2019 was around $525,000, up 5.8% 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 housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $125,000 from the national average price, trimming it to around $400,000 and reducing the year-over-year gain to 4.7%.

 

– 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 130,000 REALTORS® working through 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

Canadian home sales rise again in September


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up slightly in September 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.6% month-over-month (m-o-m) in September.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 15.5% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties edged back by 0.6% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.5% m-o-m and 1.3% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price was up 5.3% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems advanced for the seventh consecutive month, raising them 18% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but leaving them about 8% below highs reached in 2016 and 2017. (Chart A)

Activity was up in slightly more than half of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver (GVA) and the Fraser Valley (which together constitute the Lower Mainland of British Columbia).

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 15.5% year-over-year, reflecting the combination of slow sales in September 2018 and a rebound in activity this year. Transactions were up from year-ago levels in all of Canada’s largest urban markets, including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto area (GTA), Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa and Montreal.

“National sales activity has begun to rebound in recent months,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “That said, all real estate is local, so there’s a lot of variation in the strength of the rebound depending on the housing type, location and price segment. Nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen.

“Home sales activity and prices are improving after having weakened significantly in a number of housing markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “How long the current rebound continues depends on economic growth, which is being subdued by trade and business investment uncertainties.”

The number of newly listed homes edged back by 0.6%. The small increase in sales combined with the small decline in new supply tightened the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 61.3% in September. This measure has been increasingly rising above its long-term average of 53.6%. At this point, this measure remains in balanced market territory, but is favouring sellers more than buyers.

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, three-quarters of all local markets were in balanced market territory in September 2019, including the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Of the remainder, the ratio was in sellers market territory in all housing markets except Saskatoon and Southeast Saskatchewan.

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 4.5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of September 2019 – the lowest level recorded since December 2017. This measure of market balance has been increasingly retreating below its long-term average of 5.3 months.

As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory is still within balanced market territory but tilting in favour of sellers; however, national measures of market balance continue to mask significant regional variations.

The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and providing fertile ground for price gains. Meanwhile, the measure is well centered within balanced market territory in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, making it likely that prices there will continue to stabilize.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.5% m-o-m in September 2019, marking a fourth consecutive gain for the measure.

Seasonally adjusted MLS® HPI readings in September were up from the previous month in 13 of the 18 markets tracked by the index. (Table 1)

In recent months, home prices have generally been stabilizing in the Lower Mainland and the Prairies, where previously they were falling. Meanwhile, price growth has begun to rebound among markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), rejoining the ongoing price gains in housing markets located further east.

Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, with mostly declines in western Canada and mostly price gains in eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) was up 1.3% y-o-y in September 2019, the biggest year-over-year gain since December 2018. (Chart B)

Home prices in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley remain furthest below year-ago levels, (-7.3% and -4.8%, respectively), although declines are becoming smaller. Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan Valley logged y-o-y increases (4% and 1.1%, respectively) while they edged slightly higher in Victoria (+0.4% y-o-y).

Prairie markets posted price declines ranging from about 1% to around 4% on a y-o-y basis in September, while y-o-y price growth has re-accelerated well ahead of overall consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price growth in recent years has continued uninterrupted in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

All benchmark home categories tracked by the index returned to positive y-o-y territory in August 2019 and gains further increased in September. Two-storey single-family home prices were up most, rising 1.7% y-o-y. One-storey single family home prices rose 1.4% y-o-y, while townhouse/row and apartment units edged up 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively.

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, because 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 September 2019 was around $515,500, up 5.3% 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 housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $116,000 from the national average price, trimming it to less than $397,000 and reducing the year-over-year gain to 3.3%.

 

– 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 130,000 REALTORS® working through 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

Altus Group Partners with The Canadian Real Estate Association and its Member Real Estate Boards and Associations to Expand the MLS® Home Price Index Nationally


Advanced AVM technology from Altus Group combined with extensive data from real estate boards and associations delivers first national Canadian index making it one of largest and most comprehensive in the world

TORONTO (October 2, 2019) Altus Group Limited (“Altus Group”) (TSX: AIF), a leading provider of software, data solutions and independent advisory services to the global commercial real estate (“CRE”) industry, together with The Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”) and the Founding Boards, including the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, the Calgary Real Estate Board, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, and the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, announced the broadening of their partnership to expand CREA’s Multiple Listing Service® (“MLS®”) Home Price Index nationally.

The MLS® Home Price Index is the most advanced and accurate tool relied on by the industry to gauge a neighbourhood’s home price levels and trends. The MLS® Home Price Index was pioneered by CREA and the Founding Boards and leverages Altus Group’s proprietary technology and sophisticated statistical models.

Altus Group developed the technology that powers the MLS® Home Price Index in 2009 which analyzes all of the sales data from a board or association’s MLS® System, applies a value to a “typical” home for various types of dwellings for each submarket, and tracks the relative change in value over time. Through the timely access to data inputs directly from the real estate boards and associations, real estate transactions across the country are captured on a real-time basis to ensure the index values capture market trends and activity to allow for faster insights for realtors and their clients. Leveraging its machine learning expertise along with its proprietary knowledge of automated valuation models (“AVM”) and data cleansing, Altus Group has continued to improve the technology that powers the MLS® Home Price Index and supports its expansion to markets across Canada.

“We’re excited to announce that for the first-time there is an agreement in place for all Canadian real estate boards and associations to join the MLS® Home Price Index and create a truly national housing price index that encompasses all of the housing market activity. Providing all of our members with this level of analysis and visibility into the market trends is invaluable,” said Michael Bourque, CEO of CREA. “We’re pleased to continue and further expand our strategic partnership with Altus Group to deliver greater value to REALTORS® and the Canadian real estate market by providing consistent and reliable insights on a local and national level.”

This new agreement provides a framework to expand the MLS® Home Price Index from the current 18 real estate boards to all of CREA’s 90 real estate boards and associations across Canada, representing more than 130,000 REALTOR® members. The expansion enables CREA and all real estate boards and associations to jointly provide a truly national MLS® Home Price Index for Canada.

“This is a reflection of the success we’ve achieved in our partnership to date, and the combination of machine learning and AVM technology delivers a powerful tool at a scale that brings greater value to everyone across the industry,” said Richard Simon, Managing Director of Data Solutions at Altus Group.

 “This expanded agreement with Altus Group enables us to support REALTORS® with the first truly national Housing Price Index. Having greater access and visibility to data is critical in today’s competitive market and a national MLS® Home Price Index will better equip REALTORS® to address the needs of consumers across all markets,” said Gregory Klump, Chief Economist at CREA.

“This is great news for REALTORS® and their clients,” said Bill Stirling, CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of REALTORS®. “The MLS® Home Price Index provides the best way to understand how local housing price trends are evolving, and we’re proud to be a part of this.”

About Altus Group Limited
Altus Group Limited is a leading provider of software, data solutions and independent advisory services to the global commercial real estate industry. Our businesses, Altus Analytics and Altus Expert Services, reflect decades of experience, a range of expertise, and technology-enabled capabilities. Our solutions empower clients to analyze, gain insight and recognize value on their real estate investments. Headquartered in Canada, we have approximately 2,500 employees around the world, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our clients include some of the world’s largest real estate industry participants. Altus Group pays a quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share and our shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol AIF.

For more information on Altus Group, please visit: www.altusgroup.com.

 

About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 130,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Altus Group
Jeff Hayward
Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications
416-234-4212
jeff.hayward@altusgroup.com

 

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

Statement from The Canadian Real Estate Association in response to the Conservative Party housing measures announcement


Ottawa, ON, September 23, 2019 — With Election 2019 underway, CREA welcomes today’s announcement that a Conservative government would introduce new measures to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to buy a home.

“REALTORS® have long asked for common-sense solutions designed to help Canadians to purchase a home of their own,” said Jason Stephen, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “The measures announced today by the Conservative party include suggestions we’ve been making to policymakers, such as fixing the mortgage stress test and removing it for mortgage renewals. We’re also pleased with the proposal to increase amortization periods, which ultimately provides greater flexibility for home buyers looking at financing to purchase a home of their own.”

The announcement today also included other measures. Surplus federal land being made available for development to increase housing will help with home prices, as increased supply will help satisfy increasing demand for housing across the country. We also welcome the opportunity to address money laundering and other corrupt practices in the housing sector.

Visit CREA’s Election 2019 REALTOR® Resource Hub to find out more about our suggestions.

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About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 130,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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 in August


Ottawa, ON, September 16, 2019 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up in August 2019.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.4% month-over-month (m-o-m) in August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 5% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 1.1% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.8% m-o-m and 0.9% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price was up 3.9% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems advanced for the sixth consecutive month in August. Transactions are now running almost 17% above the six-year low reached in February 2019, but remain about 10% below highs reached in 2016 and 2017. (Chart A)

Activity was up in slightly more than half of all local markets, although monthly changes were generally modest across most of the country. Gains were led by a record-setting August in Winnipeg and a further improvement in the Fraser Valley. Moncton posted the biggest monthly decline in sales, returning to more normal levels after having recently jumped to record heights.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 5% from where it stood in August 2018. The number of homes that traded hands was up from year-ago levels in most of Canada’s largest urban markets, including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto (GTA), Ottawa and Montreal.

“The mortgage stress-test has eased marginally and that’s helped some potential homebuyers,” said Jason Stephen, CREA’s President, “but the extent to which they’re adjusting to it continues to vary by community and price segment. All real estate is local. Nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen.

“The recent marginal decline in the benchmark five-year interest rate used to assess homebuyers’ mortgage eligibility, together with lower home prices in some markets, means that some previously sidelined homebuyers have returned,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Even so, the mortgage stress-test will continue to limit homebuyers’ access to mortgage financing, with the degree to which it further weighs on home sales activity continuing to vary by region.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 1.1% in August. With sales and new supply up by similar magnitudes, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 60.1%—little changed from July’s reading of 60.0%. The measure has risen above its long-term average (of 53.6%) in recent months, which indicates a tighter balance between supply and demand and a growing potential for price gains.

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 three-quarters of all local markets were in balanced market territory in August 2019. Of the remainder, the ratio was above the long-term average in all markets save for some in the Prairie region.

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 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of August 2019 – the lowest level since December 2017. This measure of market balance has been increasingly retreating below its long-term average (of 5.3 months).

That said, national measures of market balance continue to mask significant regional variations. The number of months of inventory has swollen far beyond long-term averages in Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador, giving homebuyers ample choice in these regions. By contrast, the measure is running well below long-term averages in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime provinces, resulting in increased competition among buyers for listings and fertile ground for price gains. Meanwhile, the measure is well centred in balanced market territory in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, making it likely that prices there will stabilize.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.8% m-o-m in August 2019, the largest increase in over 2 years. (Chart B)

Seasonally adjusted MLS® HPI readings in August were up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index, marking the biggest dispersion of monthly price gains since last March. (Table 1)

In recent months, home prices have generally been stabilizing in British Columbia and the Prairies, a measure which had been falling until recently. Meanwhile, price growth has begun to rebound among markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region amid ongoing price gains in housing markets east of it.

A comparison of home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, with declines in western Canada and price gains in eastern Canada.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) Aggregate Composite MLS® (HPI) was up 0.9% y-o-y in August 2019. This marks the second consecutive month in which prices climbed above year-ago levels and the largest y-o-y increase since the end of last year.

Home prices in Greater Vancouver (GVA) and the Fraser Valley remain furthest below year-ago levels, (-8.3% and -5.5%, respectively), while Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley logged y-o-y increases (3.7% and 1.5% respectively).

Prairie markets posted modest price declines, while y-o-y price growth has re-accelerated ahead of overall consumer price inflation across most of the GGH. Meanwhile, price growth has continued uninterrupted for the last few years in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton.

All benchmark home categories tracked by the index returned to positive y-o-y territory in August. Two-storey single-family home prices were up most, rising 1.2% y-o-y. One-storey single family home prices rose 0.7% y-o-y, while townhouse/row and apartment unit edged up 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends, because 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 August 2019 was around $493,500, up almost 4% 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 housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts more than $100,000 from the national average price, trimming it to less than $393,000 and reducing the year-over-year gain to 2.7%.

 

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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 130,000 REALTORS® working through 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

Quarterly Forecast


CREA Updates Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, September 16, 2019 – 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 – for the rest of 2019 and looking ahead to 2020.

Economic fundamentals underpinning housing activity remain strong outside of the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador. Population and employment growth have both remained supportive and the unemployment rate remains low. At the same time, expectations have become widespread that the Bank of Canada is unlikely to raise interest rates over the rest of the year and into next.

More importantly for home buyers and housing markets, longer-term mortgage rates have been declining. Among those that have declined is the Bank of Canada’s benchmark five-year rate used by banks to qualify mortgage applicants.

Additionally, the Federal Government has recently launched its First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a shared equity program in which the federal government finances a portion of a home purchase in exchange for an equity share of the home’s value.

Of these factors supporting Canadian housing activity, the decline in mortgage rates is arguably the most important development since the release in June of CREA’s most recent forecast. The decline in the benchmark five-year mortgage rate has marginally relaxed the B-20 mortgage stress-test, which has dampened housing activity more than other policy changes made in recent years.

Home sales have improved by more than expected in recent months and there are early signs that home price declines in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and across the Prairies may be abating. Meanwhile, home prices are re-accelerating across Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

Strong economic fundamentals, previously unexpected declines in mortgage interest rates and stronger than previously expected housing market trends in British Columbia and Ontario have resulted in CREA upwardly revising forecast home sales in 2019 and 2020. Nonetheless, the overall level of national sales activity this year and next is anticipated to remain below levels recorded prior to the implementation of the B-20 stress test.

National home sales are now projected to recover to 482,000 units in 2019, representing a 5% increase from the five-year low recorded in 2018. While this is an upward revision of 19,000 transactions compared to CREA’s previous forecast (85% of which is due to upgraded British Columbia and Ontario forecasts), it represents a return of activity to its 10-year annual average. It also remains well below the annual record set in 2016, when almost 540,000 homes traded hands. Notwithstanding the upward revision, the forecast for 2019 on a per capita basis remains the second weakest since 2001.

British Columbia is expected to continue to weigh on national figures in 2019, with a decline of 5.4% compared to 2018. This is expected to be more than offset by gains in Ontario (+8.3%) and Quebec (+9.7%).

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are all forecast to come in at or near multi-year lows in 2019. By contrast, Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick are expected to set new annual sales records. Activity in Ontario is forecast to be in line with the 10-year average for the province.

The national average price is still projected to stabilize in 2019, though with a small 0.5% increase compared to the previously forecast 0.6% decline. The national average home price is projected to come in at $491,000 amid diverging trends in eastern and western provinces. In line with the balance between supply and demand across the country, average prices in 2019 are expected to fall in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan while rising in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. In keeping with an elevated inventory of listings relative to sales, the average price in Newfoundland and Labrador is anticipated to fall for the fifth consecutive year.

Sales are forecast to continue to improve through 2020, albeit slowly. National home sales are forecast to rise by 7.5% to 518,100 units next year, with most of this increase reflecting a weak start to 2019 rather than a significant change in sales trends out to the end of next year. Indeed, an anticipated increase of 14.3% in British Columbia’s sales returns activity in line with the province’s 10-year average.

Ontario and Quebec are predicted to see sales rise by about 7% in 2020, while activity in Alberta will recover by about 5% compared to 2019. The number of homes trading hands in other provinces is predicted to edge up or down only marginally.

The national average price is forecast to advance by 2.1% in 2020 to $501,400, remaining below its 2017 level. Average price trends across Canada in 2020 are generally expected to be more moderate versions of those in 2019, with small declines in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, and modest gains in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. In British Columbia, the average home price is expected to stabilize next year following this year’s decline.

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About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 130,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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

Statement from The Canadian Real Estate Association in response to the Liberal Party FTHBI announcement


Ottawa, ON, September 12, 2019 ⁠— With Election 2019 barely underway, CREA welcomes today’s announcement that a Liberal government would extend the eligibility requirements for the First Time Home Buyers’ Incentive (FTHBI) so that Canadians in higher priced markets can take advantage of the program.

“REALTORS® welcomed the FTHBI when it was announced in the spring because it represents tangible support for millennials, new Canadians and other first-time buyers hoping to fulfill their home ownership dreams,” said Jason Stephen, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “The extension of eligibility requirements is great news that will allow Canadians in Canada’s highest priced markets take advantage of the program and start building their lives in a home of their own. We have long pointed out that housing markets vary from region to region and market to market. Today’s announcement shows that policymakers are receptive to that message.”

The announcement today also included other measures aimed at housing affordability. Further analysis of regional markets across the country is required to understand if a new speculation and vacancy tax will help increase the supply of available housing over the long term or aid with affordability.

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About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 130,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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

The Canadian Real Estate Association launches its Election 2019 REALTOR® Resource Hub


Ottawa, ON, September 12, 2019 — The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has launched an Election 2019 Resource Hub for REALTORS® called REALideas to share policy proposals to help Canadians achieve their homeownership aspirations.

“Housing affordability is top of mind to Canadians who have been shut out of housing markets across the country. REALTORS® know that all real estate is local, and during this campaign we want to have a conversation about how politicians can help Canadians who face obstacles to homeownership in different parts of the country,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “All parties proposed solutions in the last Federal election, including various REALTOR® recommendations, to address housing issues and we expect Election 2019 will be no different.”

CREA’s proposals include encouraging the construction of new housing supply, regionally sensitive adjustments to lending rules and mortgage regulations which will help to improve housing affordability right across the country.

“CREA is proposing policy solutions on behalf of REALTORS® and their clients. We’re presenting responsible ideas that will help more Canadians achieve their dream of homeownership,” Stated Michael Bourque, CREA’s CEO. “As we discuss these ideas in the coming weeks, we want to ensure all political parties keep in mind that no two housing markets are the same, and regional and local factors matter when you implement policy.”

The hub centralizes CREA’s policy ideas and the major parties’ platform commitments related to housing, which will be updated regularly as more announcements and commitments are made by the major parties.

REALideas is online at https://realideas.ca/.

 

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About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 130,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.

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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