Canadian home sales activity strengthens in July

Ottawa, ON, August 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up from June to July 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.9% from June to July.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.3% from July 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.2% from June to July.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in July was up 2.1% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price edged up 1% y-o-y.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose 1.9% in July 2018, building on increases in each of the two previous months but still running below levels recorded from mid-2013 to the end of last year (Chart A). Led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), more than half of all local housing markets reported an increase sales activity from June to July.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 1.3% y-o-y. The result reflects fewer sales in major urban centres in British Columbia and an offsetting improvement in activity in the GTA.

“This year’s new stress-test on mortgage applicants continues to weigh on home sales but its effect may be starting to fade slightly in Toronto and nearby markets,” 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 obscures significant differences in regional trends for home sales and prices,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Regardless, rising interest rates and this year’s stress test on mortgage applicants will likely prove to be difficult hurdles to overcome for many would-be first time and move-up homebuyers, heading into the second half of the year and beyond.”

The number of newly listed homes retreated 1.2% in July and stood below monthly levels recorded over most of the past eight years. New listings were down in more than half of all local markets, led by Calgary, Edmonton and Greater Vancouver (GVA). Fewer new listings in these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in the GTA.

With sales up and new listings down, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened further to reach 55.9% in July. This reading nonetheless remains within short reach of the long-term average of 53.4% for this measure of market balance.

Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a useful 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 July 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 July 2018, down from 5.4 months in June and near the long-term average of 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.1% y-o-y in July 2018. This represents the first acceleration in y-o-y home price growth since April 2017. It also suggests that the dip in home prices last summer and their subsequent rebound in and around the GTA may contribute to further y-o-y gains in the months ahead.

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in July (+10.1%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.7%). By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were again down from year-ago levels in July (-0.7% and -1.5% respectively) but the declines were noticeably smaller than in recent months.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 15 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, with home prices up from year-ago levels in eight of them, little changed in two of them and down in the remainder.

Home price gains are diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (GVA: +6.7%; Fraser Valley: +13.8%), Victoria (+8.2%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+13.7%).

Among Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, home prices remained above year-ago levels in Guelph (+4.1%) and stabilized in Oakville-Milton (+0.1%). By contrast, home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in the GTA (-0.6%) and Barrie and District (-3%).

In the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in Calgary (-1.7%), Edmonton (-1.3%), Regina (-4.8%) and Saskatoon (-2.1%).

Meanwhile, benchmark home prices rose by 7.2% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 5.7% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 5% in Greater Moncton (led by a 9.9% increase in apartment unit prices). (Table 1)

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 July 2018 was just under $481,500, up 1% from the same month last year. This was the first year-over-year increase since January.

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 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. 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

Data Related to Nearby Schools Added to Listings on REALTOR.ca

Ottawa, ON August 1st, 2018 – Canadian parents have always asked their REALTORS® about nearby schools when considering a new home and starting today they’ll be able to access school catchment information when looking at property listings on REALTOR.ca, Canada’s #1 real-estate website.

New school catchment information on REALTOR.ca will rollout nationally in phases, with major centers available now (see list below). Coverage will grow to 80% of school boards in Canada by September. An additional feature allowing parents to search for a property within a particular school’s catchment area will be available later in the fall.

“When searching for a home, having supplementary school catchment areas available will help homebuyers make better, more informed decisions when it comes to selecting a home that meets their families’ needs,” said James Mabey, a REALTOR® from Edmonton. “Consumers look beyond pricing, or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and expect REALTOR.ca to have the latest information on a property.”

Earlier this spring, CREA partnered with Local Logic to add neighbourhood specific lifestyle information to REALTOR.ca property listings.

“We’re very excited to continue expanding our relationship with REALTOR.ca and work with them to develop meaningful products that showcase advances in Canadian real estate technology,” stated Vincent-Charles Hodder, CEO of Local Logic.

To learn more about the new school catchment feature, please visit REALTOR.ca and look for a listing in the current coverage zones.

Cities currently covered: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau, Edmonton, Quebec, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St Catharines – Niagara, Halifax, Oshawa, Victoria, Windsor, Saskatoon, Regina

Cities to be added by September: St. John’s, Barrie, Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission, Sudbury, Kingston, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, Guelph, Moncton, Brantford, Saint John, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Lethbridge, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Belleville, Chatham-Kent, Fredericton, Chilliwack, Sherbrooke.

– 30 –

About Local Logic
Local Logic collects and shares location characteristics to assist prospective buyers, and real estate professionals, in finding just the right spot. Scores ranging from walkability, nearby transit and even street sound levels paint a virtual picture of the location before even setting foot on the property.

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:
Steve La Barbera
Media Relations, Local Logic
T: 438-994-6444
E: steve@ftgdigital.com

Linda Kristal, Director, Communications
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E: lkristal@crea.ca

Canadian home sales activity improves in June

Ottawa, ON, July 16, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up from May to June 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 4.1% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 10.7% from June 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes eased 1.8% from May to June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in June was up 0.9% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price edged down 1.3% y-o-y in June.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose 4.1% in June 2018 compared to May. While this marks the first substantive month-over-month increase this year, sales remain well down from monthly levels recorded over the past five years. (Chart A)

More than 60% of all local housing markets reported increased sales activity in June compared to May, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). By contrast, sales in British Columbia continue to moderate.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down almost 11% compared to June 2017. Sales marked a five-year low and stood almost 7% below the 10-year average for the month of June. Activity came in below year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by those in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

“This year’s new stress-test on mortgage applicants has been weighing on homes sales activity; however, the increase in June suggests its impact may be starting to lift,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “The extent to which the stress-test continues to sideline home buyers varies by housing market 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.

“The national increase in June home sales suggests activity may indeed be starting to turn the corner,” said, Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Even so, the number of homes trading hands has a long way to go before it returns to levels posted in recent years. Looking ahead, home sales activity and price gains will likely be held in check by higher interest rates.”

The number of newly listed homes retreated 1.8% in June, and also stood below levels for the month in recent years. New listings declined in a number of large urban markets, including those in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal.

With sales up and new listings down, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened to 54.3% in June compared to 51.2% in May. The June reading was within short reach of the long-term average of 53.4%.

Consideration of the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a useful way to gauge 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 its long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in June 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 5.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2018, down from the three-year high of 5.6 months in May. The long-term average for the measure is 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up 0.9% y-o-y in June 2018, marking the 14th consecutive month of decelerating gains. It was also the smallest increase since September 2009. (Chart B)

Decelerating y-o-y home price gains have largely reflected trends at play in Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) housing markets tracked by the index. Home prices in the region has begun to stabilize and trend higher on a month-over-month basis in recent months.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in June (+11.3%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.9%); however, price gains for these homes have decelerated this year. By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were again down from year-ago levels in June (-1.8% and -4.1% respectively).

With home prices having climbed above year-ago levels in 8 of the 15 markets tracked by the index, price trends continue to vary among housing markets.

Home price growth is moderating in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Greater Vancouver Area: +9.5% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +18.4%), Victoria (+10.6%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+16.5%).

Within the GGH region, price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in Guelph (+3.5%). By contrast, home prices in the GTA, Oakville-Milton and Barrie were down from where they stood one year earlier (GTA: -4.8%; Oakville-Milton: -2.9%; Barrie and District: -6.5%). The declines reflect rapid price growth recorded one year ago and masks recent month-over-month price gains in these markets.

Calgary and Edmonton benchmark home prices were down slightly on a y-o-y basis (Calgary: -1%; Edmonton: -1.5%), while prices declines in Regina and Saskatoon were comparatively larger (-6.1% and -2.9%, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by 7.9% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 9.1% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.4% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.4% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 6% in Greater Moncton (led by a 6.5% increase in one-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® Home Price Index (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 June 2018 was just under $496,000, down 1.3% from one year earlier. While this marked the fifth month in a row in which the national average price was down on a y-o-y basis, it was the smallest decline among them.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the Greater Vancouver and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $107,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $389,000.

– 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 at five-year low in May

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were little changed from April to May 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged down 0.1% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 16.2% from May 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 5.1% from April to May.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in May was up 1% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price declined by 6.4% y-o-y in May.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems remained little changed in May 2018. Having edged 0.1% lower, it marked the lowest level for national sales activity in more than five years. (Chart A)

Slightly more than half of all local housing markets reported fewer sales in May compared to April, led by the Okanagan region, Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley, together with the Durham region of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Quebec City. Declines in activity were offset by gains in Calgary, Thunder Bay, Brantford, London and St. Thomas, Oakville-Milton and the Quinte Region west of Kingston. A small increase in GTA sales also supported the national tally.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 16.2% compared to May 2017 and reached a seven-year low for the month. It also stood 5.5% below the 10-year average for the month of May. Activity came in below year-ago levels in about 80% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by those in and around the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region in Ontario.

“The stress-test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty percent down payment is continuing to suppress sales activity,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “The extent to which it is sidelining home buyers varies among housing markets and price ranges. 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.

“This year’s new stress-test became even more restrictive in May, since the interest rate used to qualify mortgage applications rose early in the month,” said, Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Movements in the stresstest interest rate are beyond the control of policy makers. Further increases in the rate could weigh on home sales activity at a time when Canadian economic growth is facing headwinds from U.S. trade policy frictions.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 5.1% in May but remained below year-ago levels. New listings rose in about three-quarters of all local markets, led by Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and the GTA.

With new listings up and sales virtually unchanged, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 50.6% in May compared to 53.2% in April and stayed within short reach of the long-term average of 53.4%.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively; however, the range consistent with balanced market conditions varies among local markets.

For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a better 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 its long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in May 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 5.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of May 2018. While this marks a three-year high for the measure, it remains near the long-term average of 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up 1% y-o-y in May 2018, marking the 13th consecutive month of decelerating y-o-y gains. It was also the smallest y-o-y increase since September 2009. (Chart B)

Decelerating y-o-y home price gains largely reflect trends among Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) housing markets tracked by the index. While home prices in the region have stabilized and begun trending higher on a monthly basis, rapid price gains recorded one year ago have contributed to deteriorating y-o-y price comparisons. If recent trends remain intact, year-over-year comparisons will likely improve in the months ahead.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in May (+12.7%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.9%). By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were down (-1.5% and -4.7% y-o-y respectively).

Benchmark home prices in May were up from year-ago levels in 8 of the 15 markets tracked by the index.

Composite benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia continue to trend upward after having dipped briefly in the second half of 2016 (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +11.5% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +20.6% y-o-y). Apartment and townhouse/row units have been largely driving this regional trend while single family home prices in the GVA have stabilized. In the Fraser Valley, single family home prices have also started rising.

Benchmark home prices were up by 11.5% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by 18.1% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Within the GGH region, price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in Guelph (+3.8%). By contrast, home prices in the GTA, Oakville-Milton and Barrie were down from where they stood one year earlier (GTA: -5.4% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: -5.9% y-o-y; Barrie and District: -6.3% y-o-y). This reflects rapid price growth recorded one year ago and masks recent month-over-month price gains in these markets.

Calgary and Edmonton benchmark home prices were down slightly on a y-o-y basis in May (Calgary: -0.5% y-o-y; Edmonton: -0.9% y-o-y), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon were down more noticeably from year-ago levels (-6.2% y-o-y and -2.7% y-o-y, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by 8.2% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 9.5% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.7% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.3% in Greater Moncton (led by a 4.8% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® Home Price Index (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 May 2018 was just over $496,000, down 6.4% from one year earlier.

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 more than $104,000 from the national average price to just over $391,100 and trims the y-o-y decline to 2%.

– 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 Updates Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2018 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2018 and 2019.

Housing market fundamentals remain strong in many parts of the country. Nonetheless, many housing markets continue to struggle in the face of policy headwinds.

The new mortgage stress test announced last October had been expected to cause homebuyers to rush purchases in advance of the new rules coming into effect in January and for the “pull-forward” of sales activity to result in fewer transactions in the first half of 2018.

Evidence suggests the policy response was stronger than expected, with seasonally adjusted national home sales last December having surged to the highest level ever recorded before dropping sharply in early 2018.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales figures for March, April and May are typically among the most active months in any given year. Combined sales fell to a nine-year low for the three-month period. The seasonally adjusted trend suggests sales momentum has not yet begun to rally.

Interest rates are widely expected to rise further this year and next. Home sales activity is nonetheless still expected to strengthen modestly in the second half of 2018 as housing market uncertainty diminishes.

Taking these factors into account, the national sales forecast has been revised downward and is now projected to decline by 11% to 459,900 units this year. The decrease almost entirely reflects weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario amid heightened housing market uncertainty, provincial policy measures, high home prices, ongoing supply shortages and this year’s new mortgage stress test.

The national average price is projected to ease to $499,100 this year. This is little changed from CREA’s previous forecast and a decline of 2.1% from 2017. Only Newfoundland and Labrador’s average price is expected to post a decline of that size, while more than half of all provinces are forecast to see increases. The national average price reduction reflects fewer transactions in B.C. and Ontario.

The average price decline forecasted for Ontario (-1.7%) largely reflects fewer higher-priced home sales in Toronto, particularly during the important spring market which usually sees a seasonal jump in the average price but which failed to materialize this year. While this seasonal pattern is expected to resume in 2019, the boost to the annual figure from the spring surge has been absent this year.

Meanwhile, home prices in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are expected to continue rising following steadily firming market conditions in recent years. British Columbia is also now forecast to see its average price rise in 2018, as prices in the province have been more resilient than previously expected.

Home prices are forecast to edge down by 1% in Alberta, by 1.5% in Saskatchewan and by 2.9% in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the latter two provinces, supply remains historically elevated in relation to demand.

In 2019, national sales are forecast to rebound modestly to 474,800 units but remain below annual levels recorded in 2014 through 2017. The anticipated partial recovery in sales over the second half of 2018 from deferred purchases over the first half of the year in Ontario and B.C. is subsequently expected to fade over 2019 as interest rates continue to rise. This trend is also predicted to occur in other provinces but be most pronounced in B.C. and Ontario, where transactions have fallen sharply over the first half of 2018 despite a supportive economic and demographic backdrop for housing demand.

The national average price is also forecast to rebound by 3.8% to $518,300 in 2019, reflecting an expected return to normal seasonal patterns for spring sales activity and prices in Ontario housing markets. Indeed, the MLS® Home Price Index is rising among urban centres in B.C. and Ontario.

Market balance is continuing to firm in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Further modest price increases in these provinces are forecast in 2019, with price gains held in check by rising interest rates. Meanwhile, prices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador are forecast to remain stable from 2018 to 2019.

– 30 –

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 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.

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 in April

Ottawa, ON, May 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales fell from March to April 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 2.9% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% from April 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% from March to April.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in April was up 1.5% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price declined by 11.3% y-o-y in April.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems declined by 2.9% in April 2018 to the lowest level in more than five years (Chart A). About 60% of all local housing markets reported fewer sales, led by the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% compared to April of last year and hit a seven-year low for the month. It also stood 6.9% below the 10-year average for the month. Activity was below year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and by markets in and around Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region.

“The stress-test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty percent down payment continued to cast its shadow over sales activity in April,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “Its impact on housing markets varies by region,” she added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Sukkau.

“This year’s new stress test has lowered sales activity and destabilized market balance for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador Provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This is exactly the type of collateral damage that CREA warned the government about. As provinces whose economic prospects have faced difficulties because they are closely tied to those of natural resources, it is puzzling that the government would describe the effect of its new policy as intended consequences.”

The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% in April. Having reached a nine-year low for the month, new listings stood 12% below the 10-year monthly moving average.

With sales having fallen by less than new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio firmed slightly to 53.7% in April compared to 52.6% in March. The long-term average for the measure is 53.4%.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively; however, the range consistent with balanced market conditions varies at the local market level.

For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a better 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 its long-term average, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in April 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 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2018, the highest level since September 2015. The long-term average for the measure is 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 1.5% y-o-y in April 2018. This marks one full year of decelerating y-o-y gains. It was also the smallest y-o-y increase since October 2009. (Chart B)

Decelerating y-o-y home price gains largely reflect trends among GGH housing markets tracked by the index. Home prices in the region have stabilized and have begun trending higher on a monthly basis; however, rapid price gains recorded one year ago have contributed to deteriorating y-o-y price comparisons.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in April (+14.7%), followed by townhouse/row units (+6.5%). By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were down (-1.1% and -4.8% y-o-y respectively).

With this release, housing market coverage for MLS® HPI now includes Barrie and District. Benchmark home prices in April were up from year-ago levels in 9 of the 15 markets tracked by the index.

Composite benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia continue to trend upward after having dipped briefly in the second half of 2016 (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +14.3% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +22.7% y-o-y). Apartment and townhouse/row units have been largely driving this regional trend while single family home prices in the GVA have stabilized. In the Fraser Valley, single family home prices have now also begun to rise.

Benchmark home prices continued to rise by about 14% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Within the GGH region, price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in Guelph (+5.9%). By contrast, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Barrie and District were down from where they stood one year earlier (GTA: -5.2% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: -8.7% y-o-y; Barrie and District: -8.4% y-o-y). This reflects rapid price gains recorded one year ago and masks recent month-over-month price gains in these markets.

Calgary and Edmonton benchmark home prices were again little changed on a y-o-y basis (Calgary: +0.1% y-o-y; Edmonton: -0.9% y-o-y), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon remained down from year-ago levels (-6.5% y-o-y and -3.4% y-o-y, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by 8.4% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 9.4% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.2% in Greater Moncton (led by a 5.6% increase in one-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 April 2018 was just over $495,000, down 11.3% from one year earlier.

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 more than $109,000 from the national average price to just under $386,100 and trims the y-o-y decline to 4.1%.

– 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 slightly in March

Ottawa, ON, April 13, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged higher from February to March 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales inched up 1.3% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 22.7% from last year’s all-time March record.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 3.3% from February to March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in March was up 4.6% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price declined by 10.4% y-o-y in March.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 1.3 % from February to March 2018. Despite having improved marginally in March, national sales activity in the first quarter slid to the lowest quarterly level since the first quarter of 2014.

March sales were up from the previous month in over half of all local housing markets, led by Ottawa and Montreal. Monthly sales gains were offset by declines in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, the Okanagan Region, Chilliwack, Calgary and Edmonton.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 22.7% from record activity logged for March last year and marked a four-year low for the month. It also stood 7% below the 10-year average for the month. Activity came in below year-ago levels in more than 80% of all local markets, including every major urban centre except Montreal and Ottawa. The vast majority of year-over-year declines were well into double digits.

“Government policy changes have made home buyers and sellers increasingly uncertain about the outlook for home prices,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “The extent to which these changes have impacted housing market sentiment varies by region,” he added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Peck.

“Recent changes to mortgage regulations are fueling demand for lower priced homes while shrinking the pool of qualified buyers for higher-priced homes,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Given their limited supply, the shift of demand into lower price segments is causing those sale prices to climb. As a result, ‘affordably priced’ homes are becoming less affordable while mortgage financing for higher priced homes remains out of reach of many aspiring move-up homebuyers.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 3.3% in March. However, new listings have still not recovered from the 21.1% plunge recorded between December 2017 and January 2018 – the largest month-over-month decline on record by a large margin. With sales up by less than new listings in March, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 53% in March. The long-term average for the measure is 53.4%.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the range consistent with balanced market conditions varies among local markets.

For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a better way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the balanced range can vary among local markets.

For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance is above or below its long-term average is a better way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, more than 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in March 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 February 2018 – the highest level in two-and-a-half years and in line with the long-term average of 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 4.6% y-o-y in March 2018. This was the 11th consecutive deceleration in y-o-y gains, continuing a trend that began last spring. It was also the smallest y-o-y increase since December 2013.

Slowing y-o-y home price growth largely reflects trends among Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) housing markets tracked by the index. Although home prices in the region have stabilized or begun to show tentative signs of moving higher in recent months, y-o-y comparisons may deteriorate further due to rapid price gains one year ago.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in January (+17.8%), followed by townhouse/row units (+9.4%), and one-storey single family homes (+1.3%). As expected, two-storey single family home prices were down (-2%) from a year ago. Despite having stabilized over the second half of last year, y-o-y declines for single family home prices may persist over the first half of 2018.

As of this release, housing market coverage for the MLS® HPI now includes Edmonton. Benchmark home prices in March were up from year-ago levels in 9 of the 14 markets tracked by the index.

Composite benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia continue to trend upward after having dipped briefly during the second half of 2016 (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +16.1% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +24.4% y-o-y). Apartment and townhouse/row units have been driving this regional trend in recent months while single family home prices in the GVA have held steady. In the Fraser Valley, single family home prices have also begun to rise.

Benchmark home prices continued to rise by about 15% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Within the GGH region, price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in Guelph (+7.5%). Meanwhile home prices in the GTA and Oakville-Milton were down in March compared to one year earlier (GTA: -1.5% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: -7.1% y-o-y). These declines largely reflect price trends one year ago and mask evidence that home prices in the region have begun trending higher.

Calgary and Edmonton benchmark home prices were little changed on a y-o-y basis (Calgary: +0.3% y-o-y; Edmonton: -0.5% y-o-y), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon remained down from year-ago levels (-4.6% y-o-y and -3.4% y-o-y, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by 7.7% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.6% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.2% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.4% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.9% in Greater Moncton (led by a 6.3% increase in one-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)

The MLS® Home Price Index (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 March 2018 was just over $491,000, down 10.4% from one year earlier.

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 $108,000 from the national average price, reducing it to $383,000 and trimming the y-o-y decline to just 2%.

– 30 –

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales fall further in February

Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined further in February 2018.

Highlights:

  • National home sales declined by 6.5% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 16.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) in February.
  • The number of newly listed homes recovered by 8.1% from January to February.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in February was up 6.9% y-o-y.
  • The national average sale price declined by 5% y-o-y in February.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems were down 6.5% in February. This marks the second consecutive monthly decline following the record set in December 2017 and the lowest reading in nearly five years.

February sales were down from the previous month in almost three-quarters of all local housing markets, with large monthly declines in and around Greater Vancouver (GVA) and Greater Toronto (GTA).

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 16.9% year-over-year (y-o-y) and hit

a five-year low for the month of February. Sales also stood 7% below the 10-year average for the month of February. Sales activity came in below year-ago levels in 80% of all local markets in February, including those nearby and within Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region.

“Sales activity is down in many, but not all, housing markets compared to the end of last year, and varies depending on price range, location and property type,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “All real estate is local,” he added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Peck.

“The drop off in sales activity following the record-breaking peak late last year confirms that many homebuyers moved purchase decisions forward late last year before tighter mortgage rules took effect in January,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Momentum for home sales activity going into the second quarter is also likely to weighed down by housing market uncertainty in British Columbia, where new housing polices were introduced toward the end of February.”

The number of newly listed homes recovered by 8.1% in February following a plunge of more than 20% in January. Despite the monthly increase in February, new listings nationally were still lower than monthly levels recorded in every month last year except January, and came in 6.4% below the 10-year monthly average and 14.6% below the peak reached in December 2017.

New supply was up in about three-quarters of local markets. The monthly increase was led by B.C.’s Lower Mainland, the GTA, Ottawa and Montreal; despite the monthly rise in new supply, these markets remain balanced or continue to favour sellers.

With sales down and new listings up in February, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 55% compared to 63.7% in January. This returned the ratio close to where it was during the second half of last year.

A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the balanced range can vary among local markets.

For that reason, considering the degree and duration that market balance is above or below its long-term average is a better way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, almost three-quarters of all local markets were in balanced market territory in February 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 February 2018 – the highest level in two-and-a-half years and in line with the long-term average of 5.2 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 6.9% y-o-y in February 2018. This was the 10th consecutive deceleration in y-o-y gains, continuing a trend that began last spring. It was also the smallest y-o-y increase since October 2015.

Slowing y-o-y home price growth largely reflects trends for GGH housing markets tracked by the index. Prices in the region have stabilized or begun to show tentative signs of moving higher in recent months; however, year-over-year comparisons are likely to continue to deteriorate further due to rapid price gains posted one year ago.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y price gains in February (+20.1%), followed by townhouse/row units (+11.8%), one-storey single family homes (+3.5%), and two-storey single family homes (+1%).

Benchmark home prices in February were up from year-ago levels in 10 of the 13 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI.

Composite benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia continue to trend higher after having dipped briefly during the second half of 2016 (GVA: +16.9% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +24.1% y-o-y). Apartment units have been largely driving this regional trend in recent months.

Benchmark home prices continued to rise by about 14% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis but remain above year-ago levels in the GTA (+3.2%) and Guelph (+9.3%). While home prices in Oakville-Milton are down slightly from one year ago (-1.9%), the monthly price trends in these markets have begun to show signs of stabilizing or tentative upward movement in recent months.

Calgary benchmark home prices were flat (+0.1%) on a y-o-y basis, while prices in Regina and Saskatoon were down from last February (-4.8% y-o-y and -3.8% y-o-y, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by 7.7% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.9% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.1% in Greater Montreal (led by a 8.8% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 5% in Greater Moncton (led by an 6.4% increase in one-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)

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

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2018 was just over $494,000, down 5% from one year earlier. The decline demonstrates the impact of GTA sales activity on the national average price.

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 trims more than $112,000 from the national average price, reducing 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, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

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

For more information, please contact:

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