Canadian home sales little changed in August

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Tue, 09/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2015 - According to statistics1 released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a small month-over-month increase in August 2015.

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2015 -According to statistics1 released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a small month-over-month increase in August 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged up by 0.3% from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.0% above August 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 0.5% from July to August.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 6.43% year-over-year in August.
  • The national average sale price rose 8.7% on a year-over-year basis in August; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 4.2%.

The number of homes trading hands via MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations edged up 0.3 per cent in August 2015 compared to July and remains near levels that have changed little since reaching a five-year high in May. (Chart A)

Sales were little changed on a month-over-month basis among all local markets in August, with an even split between markets posting increases and those with declines.

“August marked the fourth month in a row for strong and stable national sales activity,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “While home prices increased in British Columbia and in the Greater Toronto Area, they have been holding fairly steady in many other parts of the country for some time now. 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.”

“Prices continue to rise in Ontario and British Columbia, where listings are either in short supply or heading in that direction,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “August also provided early evidence that modest price growth is re-emerging in some markets in Quebec and New Brunswick. The continuation of low interest rates is supporting home sales and price trends, and is likely to keep doing so for some time.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in August 2015 was up four per cent from the same month last year. It was the third highest August sales figure on record after 2005 and 2007, and stood 6.6 per cent above the 10-year average for August.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up from year-ago levels in a little over 60 per cent of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Sales in Calgary continued to post the largest year-over-year declines after having run near record levels there last year.

The number of newly listed homes edged up by 0.5 per cent in August compared to July, led by gains in Edmonton and the GTA.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56.7 per cent in August, down slightly from 56.9 per cent in July. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in a little under half of local housing markets in August. More than one-third of all local markets breached the 60 per cent threshold in August, comprised mostly of markets in British Columbia together with those in and around the GTA.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely 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 August 2015, unchanged from the previous three months and holding at a three-year low for the measure.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 6.43 per cent on a year-over-year basis in August, accelerating from the 5.90 year-over-year gain in July and 5.43 per cent in June. This recent acceleration in year-over-year growth follows gains that held steady within a range of about five and five-and-a-half per cent. (Chart B)

Year-over-year price growth picked up in August for all Benchmark home types tracked by the index with the exception of townhouse/row units.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+8.85 per cent), followed by one-storey single family homes (+6.09 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.29 per cent) and apartment units (+3.08 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+11.96 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+9.99 per cent) continue to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, year-over-year price growth in the Fraser Valley accelerated to about seven per cent, while Victoria and Vancouver Island prices logged year-over-year gains of about five per cent in August.

Prices in Calgary were flat on a year-over-year basis in August, marking the first month since September 2011 of no year-over-year price growth. Prices in Saskatoon also ran roughly even with year-ago levels.

Elsewhere, home prices were up from August 2014 levels by about one-and-a-half per cent in Greater Montreal, by about one per cent in Greater Moncton, and by about half of one per cent in Ottawa. Prices fell by about three-and-a-half per cent in Regina, extending year-over-year price declines there that began in 2013. (Table 1)

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in August 2015 was $433,367, up 8.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $338,755 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 4.2 per cent.

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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 109,000 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

Liberal Party of Canada promises to ‘modernize’ the Home Buyer’s Plan

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Wed, 09/09/2015 – 15:42

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) welcomes Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to modernize the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), if elected, by enabling Canadians impacted by significant life changes to access the program and use money from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs) to buy a house without tax penalty.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) welcomes Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Justin Trudeau’s campaign promise to modernize the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), if elected, by enabling Canadians impacted by significant life changes to access the program and use money from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs) to buy a house without tax penalty.

The HBP is a REALTOR®-driven initiative, introduced by the government as a short-term stimulus measure in 1992 and made a permanent program in 1994. Since its inception, over 2.8 million Canadian have used the HBP to help make home ownership more affordable. The program allows Canadians to borrow, on a repayable basis, from their own Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to purchase a home.

Expanding the HBP to help Canadians maintain homeownership after a significant life change, such as job relocation, the death of a spouse, marital breakdown, or a decision to accommodate an elderly family member, has been a REALTOR® Action Issue since 2011.

Home purchases involving the HBP generate spin-off spending and create jobs. In 2015, home purchases involving the use of the HBP are projected to result in over $2.8 billion in spin-off spending and more than 19,900 jobs.

For more information on the Liberal Party of Canada’s announcement, please review the Affordable Housing for Canadians backgrounder on the party’s website.

For more information on CREA’s proposal on this topic, please review our Support Canadian Workers Through Job Relocation infographic on REALTOR Link®.

Canadian home sales edge lower but remain strong in July

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Fri, 08/14/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, August 14, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged slightly lower on a month-over-month basis in July 2015.

Highlights:

•       National home sales edged back by 0.4% from June to July.

•       Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 3.4% above July 2014 levels.

•       The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.2 per cent from June to July.

•       The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.

•       The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.9% year-over-year in July.

•       The national average sale price rose 8.9% on a year-over-year basis in July; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 4.1%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations declined by 0.4 per cent in July 2015 compared to June. While this marks the second consecutive monthly decline in activity, sales activity in May, June and July reached their highest monthly levels in more than five years. 

July sales were down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by declines in Hamilton-Burlington and in the Durham Region of the greater Toronto Area (GTA). The monthly decline in sales for these two markets represents a pullback from record levels in June and likely reflects an insufficient supply of listings. By contrast, sales in Newfoundland and Labrador were up most on a month-over-month basis, marking a rebound from a quiet month of June for the province.

“National sales activity remains solid, fuelled by strength in British Columbia and the Greater Toronto Area, where listings are in short supply or trending that way,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “That said, markets elsewhere across Canada are largely well balanced and in some cases have an ample supply of listings. As always, 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.”

“It’s fair to say that the strength of national sales is still a story about two cities, but it’s equally about how trends there are spreading out in their respective provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Trends in British Columbia and Ontario have a big influence on the national figures, since they account for about 60 per cent of national housing activity. As a result, the national picture reflects how demand is running high for the short supply of single family homes in and around the GTA while the balance between supply and demand is tightening in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. These remain the only places in Canada where home prices are growing strongly.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July 2015 came in 3.4 per cent ahead of the same month last year, and marked the second highest July sales figure on record after 2009. Activity stood 12.6 per cent above the 10-year average for July.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up from year-ago levels in just over half of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia and the GTA. While Calgary continued to post the largest year-over-year declines in sales compared to last year’s record levels, activity there is nonetheless running roughly in line with five and 10-year averages for sales during the month of July.

The number of newly listed homes was little changed (+0.2 per cent) in July compared to June, marking the fourth consecutive month in which new listings have held steady. New supply was up in a little more than half of all local markets, led by rebounds in Calgary and Edmonton which offset a small step down in the GTA.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56.8 per cent in July, down slightly from 57.1 per cent in June. The measure has closely tracked the trend for sales this year as new supply has remained stable.

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

The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in July. About one-third of all local markets breached the 60 per cent threshold in July, comprised mostly of markets in British Columbia together with those in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely 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 July 2015, unchanged from the previous two months and a three-year low for the measure. The national balance between supply and demand has tightened since the beginning of the year as rising sales have drawn down on overall supply.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.90 per cent on a year-over-year basis in July, accelerating from the 5.43 per cent year-over-year gain in June. Gains over the past year and a half had been holding steady within a range of about five and five and a half per cent. 

Year-over-year price growth picked up in July for all Benchmark home types tracked by the index. Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+8.16 per cent), with comparatively more modest increases for one-storey single family homes

(+4.88 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.49 per cent) and apartment units (+2.96 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+11.23 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+9.39 per cent) continue to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, year-over-year price growth in the Fraser Valley accelerated to about six per cent, while Victoria and Vancouver Island prices continued to log year-over-year gains of about four per cent in July.

Price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 0.14 per cent in July. This was the smallest gain in nearly four years, with July’s reading down about 0.7% from the peak reached in November 2014 and up by about an equal percentage compared to the recent low point reached in April 2015. Prices continued running roughly even with year-ago levels in Saskatoon.

Elsewhere, home prices were up from July 2014 levels by just under two per cent in Greater Montreal and by just under one per cent in Ottawa. By comparison, prices fell by about three and a half per cent in Regina and by about one and a half per cent in Greater Moncton.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2015 was $437,699, up 8.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $341,438 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 4.1 per cent.

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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 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

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

For more information, please contact:

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

CREA Welcomes Proposal to Restore Strength of Home Buyers’ Plan

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Wed, 08/12/2015 – 13:00

Ottawa, ON, August 12, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), on behalf of its 110,00 REALTOR® members across the country, welcomes today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000.

Ottawa, ON, August 12, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), on behalf of its 110,000 REALTOR® members across the country, welcomes today’s announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000.

“The Home Buyers’ Plan has helped so many Canadian families realize their dream of home ownership,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “Today’s commitment to increase the withdrawal limit of the HBP will ensure that the dream stays within reach for today’s young people.”

The HBP was championed by REALTORS®, and introduced by government in 1992. Since its inception, over 2.8 million Canadian have used the HBP to help make home ownership more affordable. The program allows Canadians to borrow, on a repayable basis, from their own Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to purchase a home. The HBP is a unique program in that it provides first time home buyers a means to build home equity and save for retirement at the same time. However, the purchasing power of the HBP has been eroded by inflation.

“Maintaining the value of the HBP by increasing withdrawal limits is critical. In my own real estate business I have seen so many hard working families and first-time home buyers use this program to build a more secure financial future for themselves,” Aunger stated. “By reducing or avoiding mortgage default insurance fees and building home equity sooner, Canadians can put their own money to work for them.”

Home purchases involving the HBP generate spin-off spending and create jobs. In 2015, home purchases involving the use of the HBP are projected to result in over $2.8 billion in spin-off spending and more than 19,900 jobs.

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Canadian home sales edge lower but remain strong in June

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Wed, 07/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2015- According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged slightly lower on a month-over-month basis in June 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged back by 0.8% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11% above June 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.2% from May to June.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.43% year-over-year in June.
  • The national average sale price rose 9.6% on a year-over-year basis in June; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 3.1%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations declined by 0.8 per cent in June 2015 compared to May. Sales levels in May and June marked the strongest monthly readings in more than five years.

June sales were up from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by increases in Hamilton-Burlington and in the Durham Region of the Greater Toronto Area. The monthly increase in sales there was offset by monthly sales declines in Ottawa and Montreal.

“Low interest rates are unquestionably helping boost consumer confidence and home sales activity this summer,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “But low interest rates are benefiting sales in some areas more than others. All real estate is local, with trends affected by a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Low interest rates are helping sales activity set new records in and around the Greater Toronto Area, which is boosting national sales activity,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Those records would be even higher were it not for an ongoing shortage of listings for single family homes in the area. The combination of strong demand and a shortage of listings is continuing to fuel single family home price increases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June 2015 set a record for the month, standing 11 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 14 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, and Montreal.

The number of newly listed homes was little changed (-0.2 per cent) in June compared to May, marking the third consecutive month in which they remained stable. There was roughly an even split between the number of local markets showing an increase in new listings and those showing a decline.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.2 per cent in June. Although little changed from its reading the previous month, it is up from the low of 50.4 per cent reached in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales over the first half of the year while new supply has remained stable.

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

The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in June. About one-third of all local markets breached the 60 per cent threshold in June, comprised mostly of markets in British Columbia together with those in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely 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 June 2015, unchanged from a month earlier when it reached its lowest reading in three years. The national balance between supply and demand has tightened since the beginning of the year, when it was at its most balanced in nearly two years.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.43 per cent on a year-over-year basis in June, accelerating slightly by comparison to the 5.17 per cent year-over-year gain logged in May. Gains have generally held within the range of between five to five and a half per cent since the beginning of 2014.

Year-over-year price growth picked up in June for single family homes, slowed for apartment units, and was little changed for townhouse/row units.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+7.65 per cent), with comparatively more modest increases for one-storey single family homes (+4.43 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.00 per cent) and apartment units (+2.64 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+10.26 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+8.94 per cent) continue to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island prices all recorded year-over-year gains of about four per cent in June.

Price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 0.48 per cent in June. This was the smallest gain in nearly four years and marks a full year of monthly slowdowns in the rate of year-over-year price growth.

Elsewhere, prices held steady on a year-over-year basis in Saskatoon and Ottawa and rose slightly in Greater Montreal. By comparison, prices fell by almost three and a half per cent in Regina and by about two per cent in Greater Moncton.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2015 was $453,560, up 9.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $346,904 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 3.1 per cent.

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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 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

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

Canadian home sales strengthen further in May

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Mon, 06/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in May 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 3.1% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above May 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from April to May.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.17% year-over-year in May.
  • The national average sale price rose 8.1% on a year-over-year basis in May; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 2.4%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations rose 3.1 per cent in May 2015 compared to April. This marks the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity to its highest level in more than five years. (Chart A)

May sales were up from the previous month in about 60 per cent of all local markets, led by increases in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal.

“CMHC announced in April that effective June 1 it was hiking mortgage default insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment, so some buyers may have jumped off the fence and purchased in May to beat the increase,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “It’s one of the factors that could have affected sales last month. That said, all real estate is local, with trends that reflect a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Sales in and around the Greater Toronto area played a starring role in the monthly increase in May sales,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “At the same time, the rebound in sales over the past few months in Calgary and Edmonton suggests that heightened uncertainty among some home buyers in these housing markets may be easing.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in May 2015 stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 5.7 per cent above the 10 year average for the month.

Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about half of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto and Montreal.

The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (-0.2 per cent) in May compared to April. This reflects an even split between housing markets where new listings rose and where they fell, with little monthly change for new listings in most of Canada’s largest and most active urban markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.6 per cent in May, up from a low of 50.4 per cent in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales so far this year as new supply has remained little changed.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in May. About a third of local markets were above the 60 per cent threshold in May, comprised mostly of markets in and around the Greater Toronto Area and markets in British Columbia.

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

The national balance between supply and demand has tightened since the beginning of the year, when buyers had more negotiating power than they had in nearly two years. There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of May 2015, its lowest reading in three years.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.17 per cent on a year-over-year basis in May, up slightly from the 4.97 per cent year-over-year gain logged in April. Gains have generally held to the range from five to five and a half per cent since the beginning of 2014. (Chart B)

Year-over-year price growth accelerated in May in all Benchmark home categories tracked by the index with the exception of one-storey single family homes.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+7.18 per cent), with more modest increases for one-storey single family homes (+4.11 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.09 per cent) and apartment units (+2.91 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater

Vancouver (+9.41 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+8.90 per cent) continued to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island prices all recorded year-over-year gains of about four per cent in May.

Price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 1.21 per cent in May. This was the smallest gain in more than three years and the eleventh consecutive monthly slowdown in year-over-year price growth.

Elsewhere, prices held steady on a year-over-year basis in Saskatoon and Ottawa, rose slightly in Greater Montreal and fell by about three per cent in Regina and Greater Moncton.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2015 was $450,886, up 8.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $344,988 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 2.4 per cent.

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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 109,000 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 up again in April

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Fri, 05/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, May 15, 2015- According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a third consecutive month-over-month increase in April 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 2.3% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 10% above April 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from March to April.
  • The Canadian housing market overall remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 4.97% year-over-year in April.
  • The national average sale price rose 9.5% on a year-over-year basis in April; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 3.4 %.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 2.3 per cent in April 2015 compared to March. This marks the third consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity back to where it was during most of the second half of last year.

April sales were up from the previous month in two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area, the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region, and Montreal.

“As expected, low mortgage interest rates and the onset of spring ushered many homebuyers off the sidelines, particularly in regions where winter was long and bitter,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “All real estate is local and REALTORS® remain your best source of information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“In recent years, the seasonal pattern for home sales and listings has become amplified in places where listings are in short supply relative to demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This particularly stands out in and around Toronto. Sellers there have increasingly delayed listing their home until spring. Once listed, it sells fairly quickly. Sales over the year as a whole in Southern Ontario are likely being constrained to some degree by a short supply of single family homes. However, the busy spring home buying and selling season has become that much busier as a result of sellers waiting until winter has faded before listing.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April stood 10.0 per cent above levels reported in April 2014. This marks just the third time ever that sales during the month of April topped 50,000 transactions.

Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about 70 per cent of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, and Montreal. Of the 18 local markets that set new records for the month of April, all but two are in Southern Ontario.

The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (+0.1 per cent) in April compared to March. Below the surface, new supply rose in almost two thirds of all local markets, led by a big rebound in Halifax-Dartmouth following a sharp drop in March. This was offset by declines in Greater Vancouver, Victoria, and the Okanagan Region, as well as by a continuing pullback in new supply in Calgary. New listings in Calgary have dropped by one-third from their multi-year high at the end of last year to their current multi-year low.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.3 per cent in April, up from 50.4 per cent three months earlier as the ratio has steadily risen along with sales so far this year.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in the majority of local housing markets in April.

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

There were 5.9 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2015, down from 6.1 months in March and 6.5 months at the end of January when it reached the highest level in nearly two years. While the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of inventory measures of market balance indicate that the housing market has tightened on a national basis over the past few months, both measures remain firmly entrenched in balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 4.97 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, on par with the 4.95 per cent year-over-year gain recorded in March.

Year-over-year price growth accelerated in April for apartment units and two-storey single family homes, while decelerating for townhouse/row units and one-storey single family homes.

Single family home sales continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+5.84 per cent), led by two-storey single family homes (+6.89 per cent). By comparison, the rise in selling prices was more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20 per cent), townhouse/row units (+3.87 per cent), and apartment units (+2.60 per cent).

Price gains varied among housing markets tracked by the index. For the third consecutive month, Greater Vancouver (+8.50 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+8.43 per cent) posted the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island recorded gains in the range between 2.7 per cent and 4.0 per cent.

Price growth in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 2.21 per cent in April, the smallest gain in three years and the tenth consecutive month for which the gain diminished.

Prices remained stable on a year-over-year basis in Saskatoon and Ottawa, while rising slightly in Greater Montreal, dipping slightly in Greater Moncton, and falling in Regina.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in April 2015 was $448,862, up 9.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations, the average price is a more modest $339,893 and the year-over-year gain shrinks to 3.4 per cent.

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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 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

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

Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Wed, 04/15/2015 – 08:58

Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2015 - The Bank of Canada announced on April 15th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent.

The Bank of Canada announced on April 15th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent.

While official economic growth statistics for the first quarter of 2015 won’t be available until the end of May, the Bank estimates that Canada’s economy was stuck in neutral. Governor Poloz had already telegraphed as much in an interview with the Financial Times and it should come as no surprise given the impact of the drop in oil prices this year.

In its interest rate announcement, the Bank made it clear that it thinks the worst of the damage to the Canadian economy from lower oil prices is behind us. It expects economic activity to bounce back in the second and third quarters even more strongly than previously predicted due mainly to an anticipated increase in non-energy exports.

The Bank’s forecast is perhaps optimistic regarding near term economic prospects given, since there is scant evidence that non-energy exports are in fact ramping up. Moreover, its Monetary Policy Report (MPR) which accompanied the announcement acknowledged that “the full impact of the decline in oil prices has yet to show up in employment statistics.”

The rebalanced forecast allows the Bank to maintain its view that inflation will return to its two per cent target by the end of 2016. At this point, that means the goalposts for the first interest rate hike have not moved. Most Bay Street economists expect the Bank to keep interest rates on hold until late 2016.

That said, the Bank identified greater than anticipated economic fallout from oil prices as the number one risk to its forecast. If damage to the Canadian economy from lower oil prices worsen or drag on for longer than anticipated, it may be forced to again downgrade its next economic forecast and perhaps trim interest rates in July.

As of April 15th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous Bank rate announcement on March 4th, and down 0.35 percentage points from one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on May 27th, 2015. The next update to the Monetary Policy Report will be on July 15th, 2015.

(CREA 04/15/2015)

Canadian home sales climb in March

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Wed, 04/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was up on month-over-month basis in March 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged up 4.1% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 9.5% above March 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 1.8% from February to March.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 4.95% year-over-year in March.
  • The national average sale price rose 9.4% on a year-over-year basis in March; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 2.4%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose by 4.1 per cent in March 2015 compared to February.

March sales were up from the previous month in nearly two-thirds of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary and Edmonton. Despite the monthly rebound, Calgary and Edmonton sales came in below the 10 year average for the month of March.

“Low mortgage interest rates are good news for affordability as we head into the spring home buying season,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “This spring should see buyers coming off the sidelines in places where winter was anything but mild. Like the weather, all real estate is local and nobody knows your real estate market better than REALTORS®, who remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

“Greater Vancouver and the GTA are really the only two hot spots for home sales and prices in Canada,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Price gains in these two markets are being fuelled by a shortage of single family homes for sale in the face of strong demand. Meanwhile, supply and demand for homes is well balanced among the vast majority of housing markets elsewhere across Canada.”

Year-over-year price gains for single family homes in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto have exceeded those in other housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI throughout the first quarter of 2015 (Chart A).

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March stood 9.5 per cent above levels reported in March 2014 and slightly above the 10 year average for the month. March sales failed to lift activity recorded during the first quarter above its 10 year average. First quarter sales were below their 10 year average in most local housing markets.

The number of newly listed homes rose 1.8 per cent in March compared to February. The rebound in Greater Toronto more than offset the continuing pullback of new supply in Calgary, where it had climbed sharply toward the end of last year but now stands at a multi-year low.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.9 per cent in March, up from 52.7 per cent in February and 50.4 per cent in January.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in about 60 per cent of all local housing markets in March.

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

There were 6.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2015, down from 6.3 months in February and 6.5 months in January. While both the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of inventory measures have tightened at the national level in the past few months, they remain firmly entrenched in balanced market territory. Moreover, both measures of housing market balance indicate that upward pressure on selling prices is subsiding in an increasing number of local markets.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 4.95 per cent on a year-over-year basis in March. This marks the first year-over-year increase of less than 5% since last May and its smallest gain since January 2014 (Chart B).

Year-over-year price growth decelerated in March for apartment units, while accelerating slightly for other Aggregate Benchmark housing types tracked by the index.

Single family home sales continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+5.83 per cent), led by two-storey single family homes (+6.66 per cent). By comparison, the rise in selling prices was more modest for townhouse/row units (+4.55 per cent), one-storey single family homes (+4.41 per cent) and apartment units (+2.36 per cent).

Price gains varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Toronto (+7.85 per cent) and Greater Vancouver (+7.19 per cent) posted the biggest year-over-year increases. This was followed by Calgary at 4.13 per cent, which was a markedly smaller gain compared to those posted last year and the smallest since August 2012.

In other markets tracked by the index, prices were up compared to year-ago levels by between two-and-a-half and three per cent in Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, while remaining little changed in Saskatoon, Ottawa, and Greater Moncton. Prices also ticked up by half of one per cent in Greater Montreal, while falling four per cent in Regina (Table 1).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in March 2015 was $439,144, up 9.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price is being increasingly skewed by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $332,711 and the year-over-year gain shrinks to just 2.4 per cent.

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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 109,000 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