Canadian home sales post solid gain in November


Ottawa, ON, December 14, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose strongly in November 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 3.9% from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in November 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged up 2.9% y-o-y in November.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose for the fourth month in a row in November 2017, up 3.9% from October. Led by a 16% jump in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the surge in sales there accounted for more than two-thirds of the national increase. The continuing rebound put November sales activity a little over halfway between the peak recorded in March 2017 and the low reached in July.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity rose 2.6% y-o-y, setting a new record for the month of November. It was the first y-o-y increase since March and was unassisted by the GTA, where activity remains down significantly from year-ago levels. A number of other large markets posted y-o-y activity gains, including Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal.

“Some home buyers with more than a twenty percent down payment may be fast-tracking their purchase decision in order to beat the tougher mortgage qualifications test coming into effect next year,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Evidence of this is mixed and depends on the housing market. It will be interesting to see whether December sales show further signs of home purchases being fast-tracked. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times.”

“National sales momentum remains positive heading toward year-end,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It remains to be seen whether stronger momentum now will mean weaker activity early next year once new mortgage regulations take effect beginning on New Years day.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 3.5% in November, which reflected a large increase in new supply across the GTA.

With sales and new listings having risen by similar magnitudes, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56.4% in November, remaining little changed from 56.2% reported in October. 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 for the measure can vary among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that the current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated 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 half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in November 2017.

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

There were 4.8 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of November 2017 – down slightly from 4.9 months in October and around 5 months recorded over the summer months, and within close reach of the long-term average of 5.2 months.

At 2.4 months, the number of months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March. Even so, it remains below the region’s long-term average of 3.1 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 9.3% y-o-y in November 2017. This is a further deceleration in y-o-y gains that began in the spring and the smallest increase since February 2016.

The deceleration in price gains largely reflects softening price trends in the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, particularly for single-family homes.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y gains in November (+19.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+12.3%), one-storey single family homes (+6%), and two-storey single family homes (+5.3%).

Benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of the 13 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and now stand at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +14% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +18.5% y-o-y).

Benchmark home prices rose by about 14% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria and by 18.5% elsewhere on Vancouver Island in November, on par with y-o-y gains in October.

Price gains have slowed considerably on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph but remain above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +8.4% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +3.5% y-o-y; Guelph: +13.4% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark home prices remained just inside positive territory on a y-o-y basis (+0.3%), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon were down from last November (-3.5% y-o-y and -4.1% y-o-y, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose 6.7% y-o-y in Ottawa, led by a 7.6% increase in two-storey single family home prices, by 5.6% in Greater Montreal, led by an 8.3% increase in prices for townhouse/row units, and by 4.6% in Greater Moncton, led by a 7.8% 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 November 2017 was just under $504,000, up 2.9% from one year earlier. The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $120,000 from the national average price (to just above $381,000).

– 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 Asso

CREA Updates National Resale Housing Market Forecast


Ottawa, ON, December 14, 2017 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2017 and 2018.

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

Driven by sales trends in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Ontario home sales have rebounded from the depths reached in the summer, but remain well below the peak reached earlier this year. Recently announced changes to mortgage regulations next year may be motivating some homebuyers to advance their purchase decision before the new rules come into effect in January.

Meanwhile, sales activity in British Columbia has improved. Supported by rising activity in the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island, sales for the province are currently running about midway between the record levels of early 2016 and the lows reached in late 2016.

In the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, sales activity is still running at lower levels and supply remains ample. As a result, average prices have flattened in Alberta and eased in Saskatchewan as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador, consistent with their elevated number of months of inventory.

In Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, sales activity has been steadily improving. Combined with shrinking supply, housing markets in these regions have firmed up and average prices have been making modest gains.

CREA’s previous forecast published in September identified further changes to mortgage rules as a key downside risk. Indeed, this risk materialized in October when tighter mortgage regulations that take effect next year were announced. Among other things, the new rules make it tougher for would-be homebuyers with more than a 20% down payment to qualify for a mortgage. These low-ratio mortgages comprise the vast majority of Canadian mortgage originations.

Recent research by the Bank of Canada suggests that once they come into effect, tightened mortgage rules will reduce sales activity in housing markets across Canada, particularly in and around Toronto and Vancouver. Additionally, with some homebuyers likely advancing their purchase decision before the new rules come into effect next year, the “pull-forward” of these sales may come at the expense of sales in the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, other potential homebuyers are anticipated to stay on the sidelines as they save up a larger down payment before purchasing and contributing to a modest improvement in sales activity in the second half of 2018. Taking these factors into account has led CREA to narrow its forecast decline in sales activity in 2017 and downwardly revise its sales forecast for 2018.

The anticipated decline in Canadian sales activity in the first half of 2018 due to an erosion of housing affordability from tighter mortgage regulations may mitigated by a number of factors. Some buyers may qualify for a smaller mortgage by purchasing a lower priced home, while others may opt to stretch the amortization period when financing their purchase.

National sales activity is projected to decline by 4% to 513,900 units in 2017. The majority of the annual decline reflects weakened activity in Ontario, where sales fell sharply over the spring and summer in the wake of the province’s Fair Housing Plan that was announced in April. While British Columbia is projected to record almost 9,000 fewer sales in 2017, this decline will be almost fully offset by higher activity in Quebec and Alberta.

The national average price is expected to reach $510,400 this year, up 4.2% from 2016. In recent years, average prices have been heavily skewed by large swings in British Columbia and Ontario sales, particularly for higher-priced single family homes.

Meanwhile, prices in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have been rising following years of steadily firming market conditions. By contrast, prices were more or less flat or eased slightly in the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2018, national sales are forecast to number 486,600 units, a decline of 5.3% or 27,000 fewer transactions versus 2017. This is a downward revision of about 8,500 sales from CREA’s previous forecast.

The overwhelming majority of the forecast decline in sales next year reflects an expected decline in Ontario sales, with activity anticipated to remain well below the record-levels logged in early 2017. Indeed, new mortgage rules are expected to lower 2018 sales in all provinces except Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Based on research by Altus Group, the forecast annual decline of more than 27,000 sales from 2017 to 2018 translates into a decrease of $1.1 billion in economic activity and nearly 12,000 fewer jobs.

The national average price is forecast to edge down by 1.4% to $503,100 in 2018, in large part due to a record number of higher-priced home sales in and around Toronto in early 2017 that is not expected to be repeated in 2018.

New mortgage rules and further interest rate increases are expected to further hold sales in check in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto. As a result, the average price is forecast to hold steady in British Columbia in 2018, while declining by 2.2% in Ontario.

In an extension of current trends, average prices in 2018 are forecast to rise in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. However, price gains in 2018 will be restrained by in all markets by tougher mortgage qualification criteria for low-ratio mortgages that will weigh on higher-end home sales activity.

Also in line with 2017 trends, average prices in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are forecast to either hold steady or edge back slightly in 2018.

– 30 –

About The Canadian Real Estate Association

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

 

For more information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales edge up again in October


Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a modest monthly increase in October but remain below levels recorded one year ago.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.9% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.3% below last October’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 0.8% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.7% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October 2017.
  • The national average sale price climbed by 5% y-o-y in October.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.9% in October 2017 on the heels of monthly increases in August and September, but remained almost 11% below the record set in March. (Chart A)

Activity in October was up from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Fraser Valley, together with a number of housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.3% in October 2017, extending year-over-year declines to seven consecutive months. Sales were down from year-ago levels in slightly more than half of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the GTA and nearby cities.

“Newly introduced mortgage regulations mean that starting January 1st, all home buyers applying for a new mortgage will need to pass a stress test to qualify for mortgage financing,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “This will likely influence some home buyers to purchase before the stress test comes into effect, especially in Canada’s pricier housing markets. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times.”

“National sales momentum is positive heading toward year-end,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It remains to be seen whether that momentum can continue once the recently announced stress test takes effect beginning on New Year’s day. The stress test is designed to curtail growth in mortgage debt. If it works as intended, Canadian economic growth may slow by more than currently expected.”

The number of newly listed homes eased by 0.8% in October following a jump of more than 5% in September. The national result was influenced most by declines in new supply in London-St. Thomas, Calgary and Greater Vancouver.

With sales up slightly and new listings having eased, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 56.7% in October from 55.7% in September. 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, this rule of thumb varies among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated 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, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2017.

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

There were 5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2017, unchanged from the previous 2 months and almost on par with the long-term average.

At 2.5 months, the number of months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March. However, it remains below the region’s long-term average of 3.1 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 9.7% y-o-y in October 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April and the smallest increase since March 2016. (Chart B)

The deceleration in price gains largely reflects softening price trends in Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index.

The y-o-y increase in the national single-family benchmark home price diminished further, continuing the trend in place since May 2017 and making it the smallest y-o-y increase since March 2015.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y gains in October (+19.7%), followed by townhouse/row units (+13.2%), one-storey single family homes (+6.3%), and two-storey single family homes (+5.8%).

Benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of the 13 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and now stand at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +12.4% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +17.3% y-o-y).

Benchmark home price increases have slowed to about 14% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria, while still running at about 19% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Price gains slowed further on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph; however, prices in those markets remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +9.7% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +8.3% y-o-y; Guelph: +13.2% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices remained just inside positive territory on a y-o-y basis in October (+0.3%), while prices in Regina and Saskatoon were down compared to last October (-1.7% y-o-y and -4.1% y-o-y, respectively). (Due to a technical issue, MLS® HPI data for Regina and Saskatoon were recalculated from July 2017 onward).

Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa (+6.6% y-o-y overall, led by a 7.2% increase in two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+5.7% y-o-y overall, led by a 7.7% increase in prices for townhouse/row units), and Greater Moncton (+5.9% y-o-y overall, led by an 8.8% increase in one-storey single family home prices).

Ottawa and Greater Montreal recorded their biggest y-o-y price gains since October 2010 and April 2011, respectively.

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 October 2017 was just under $506,000, up 5% from one year earlier. The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $120,000 from the national average price (to just above $383,000).

– 30 –

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

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

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

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 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

The Canadian Real Estate Association names Michael Bourque as new Chief Executive Officer


Ottawa, ON (October 27, 2017) – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today announced that Michael Bourque has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective later this year.

“On behalf of CREA’s Board of Directors, we are delighted Michael accepted the role of CEO,” said Andrew Peck, CREA President. “The real estate profession is experiencing an era of change as technology, consumer expectations and the regulatory environment evolve.  Michael’s unparalleled experience in association management and public policy position him to hit the ground running and face these challenges head on.”

Mr. Bourque is currently the CEO at the Railway Association of Canada. He has 30 years of experience in public policy roles on Parliament Hill, as a senior federal public servant and in government relations for Bayer and the Chemistry Industry Association.

“I am excited to begin my work with CREA staff, and the community of REALTORS® and associations,” said Bourque. “CREA’s members are not only business and community leaders, they are expert guides during what is, for many, the most significant financial investment of their lives. I look forward to advocating for a vibrant ecosystem for REALTORS® and homebuyers.”

Mr. Bourque will replace Gary Simonsen, who will retire at the end of the year, after 20 years at CREA, most recently as CEO and formerly as COO.

 

Biography

Michael Bourque was the President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), a post he held beginning in 2012. The RAC is a trade association representing over 50 railways and more than 33,000 employees from coast to coast, as well and over 75 supplier companies who build and maintain railway equipment.

Michael has served as the Chair of the Transportation Roundtable, and was a Board member of Operation Lifesaver.

Michael has some 30 years of experience in public policy roles on Parliament Hill, as a senior federal public servant and in government relations for Bayer and the Chemistry Industry Association.

He is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where he studied Public Administration and Economics.


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

For more information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales edge up again in September


Ottawa, ON, October 13, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales in September rose modestly from the previous month but remained down from levels recorded one year ago.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 2.1% from August to September.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11% below last September’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes rebounded by 4.9% from August to September.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 10.7% year-over-year (y-o-y) in September 2017.
  • The national average sale price climbed by 2.8% y-o-y in September.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 2.1% in September 2017. The small gain builds on an even smaller increase in August, but leaves national home sales almost 12% below the record set in March.

Activity was up between August and September in about half of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), London and St. Thomas, and Barrie. In and around the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, some markets posted monthly sales gains while activity in others remained near recent lows or fell further.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11% in September 2017 compared to the record for the month in 2016. Sales were down from year-ago levels in close to three-quarters of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby housing markets.

“National sales appear to be stabilizing,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “While encouraging, it’s too early to tell if this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. The national result continues to be influenced heavily by trends in Toronto and Vancouver but housing market conditions vary widely across Canada. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“Further tightening of federal regulations aimed at cooling housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver risks creating collateral damage in markets elsewhere in Canada,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It also jeopardizes Canadian economic growth, which is already showing signs of fading.”

The number of newly listed homes rebounded by almost 5% in September following three consecutive monthly declines. The national result was largely the result of a jump in new supply in the GTA.

With new listings up by more than sales in September, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 55.7% compared to 57.2% in August. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

That said, this rule of thumb varies among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated 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, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in September 2017.

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

There were 5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of September 2017, unchanged from August and broadly in line with the long-term average for the measure.

At 2.4 months, the number of months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March. However, it remains below the region’s long-term average of 3.1 months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 10.7% y-o-y in September 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April.

The deceleration in price gains largely reflects softening price trends in Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index.

Price gains diminished in September among the ground-level benchmark homes tracked by the index and accelerated slightly for apartment units.

Apartment units again posted the largest y-o-y gains in September (+19.8%), followed by townhouse/row units (+13.5%), one-storey single family homes (+7.9%), and two-storey single family homes (+7.2%).

While price trends continue to vary widely by region, benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in all 13 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI – something that has not happened in close to seven years.

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and now stand at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +10.9% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +16.2% y-o-y).

Benchmark home price increases have slowed to about 15% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria, while still running at about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Price gains slowed further on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph; however, prices in those markets remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +12.2% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +8.8% y-o-y; Guelph: +17.3% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices remained just inside positive territory on a y-o-y basis in September (+0.6%). Meanwhile, home prices accelerated on a y-o-y basis in Regina (+7.7% y-o-y) and turned positive in Saskatoon, posting their first y-o-y gain since mid-2015.

Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa (+6.2% y-o-y overall, led by a 7.2% increase in one-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+5.1% y-o-y overall, led by an 8.3% increase in prices for townhouse/row units), and Greater Moncton (+5.4% y-o-y overall, led by a 7.2% increase in one-storey single family home prices).

For Ottawa and Greater Montreal, the September 2017 y-o-y price gains were the largest since November 2010 and May 2011 respectively.

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 September 2017 was just over $487,000, up almost 3% from one year ago. The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $110,000 from the national average price (to just above $374,500).

– 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

Canadian home sales edge up in August


Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a small gain in August 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.3% from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 9.9% below last August’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell a further 3.9% from July to August.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 11.2% year-over-year (y-o-y) in August 2017.
  • The national average sale price climbed by 3.6% y-o-y in August.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up by 1.3% in August 2017. The small gain breaks a string of four straight declines, but still leaves activity 13.8% below the record set in March.

There was a roughly even split between the number of local markets where sales posted a monthly increase and those where activity declined. The monthly rebound in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (14.3% month-over-month) sales fueled the national increase. For Canada net of the GTA, sales activity was flat. While it was the first monthly increase in activity since Ontario’s Fair Housing Policy was announced, GTA sales activity remained well down compared to the peak reached in March (-36%) and year-ago levels (-32%).

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 9.9% on a y-o-y basis in August 2017. Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby housing markets.

“Experience shows that home buyers watch mortgage rates carefully and that recent interest rate increases will prompt some to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to the sidelines,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“Time will tell whether the monthly rise in August sales activity marks the beginning of a rebound, particularly in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region and other higher-priced urban centres,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The picture will become clearer once mortgages that were pre-approved prior to recent interest rate hikes expire.”

The number of newly listed homes slid a further 3.9% in August, marking a third consecutive monthly decline. The national result largely reflects a reduction in newly listed homes in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, London-St. Thomas and Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as the Fraser Valley.

With sales up and new listings down in August, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 57% compared to 54.1% in July. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

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

Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, some 70% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in August 2017, up from 63% the previous month. A decline in new listings has firmed market balance in a number of Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets where it had recently begun tilting toward buyers’ market territory.

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

There were 5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of August 2017, down from 5.1 in July and slightly below the long-term average of 5.2 months.

At 2.3 months of inventory, the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is up sharply from the all-time low of 0.8 months reached in February and March just before the Ontario government announced housing policy changes in April. However, it remains well below the long-term average of 3.1 months. (Chart A)

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 11.2% y-o-y in August 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April. The deceleration in price gains largely reflects softening price trends in Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index. (Chart B)

Price gains diminished in all benchmark categories, led by two-storey single family homes. Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y gains in August (+19.5%), followed by townhouse/row units (+14.4%), two-storey single family homes (+8.3%), and one-storey single family homes (+8.1%).

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

After having dipped in the second half of last year, benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have recovered and are now at new highs (Greater Vancouver: +9.4% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +14.8% y-o-y).

Benchmark home price increases have slowed to about 16% on a y-o-y basis in Victoria, and are still running at about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Price gains slowed further on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph; however, prices in those markets remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +14.3% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +11.4% y-o-y; Guelph: +19.5% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark price growth remained in positive territory on a y-o-y basis in August (+0.8%). While Regina home prices popped back above year-ago levels (+5.6% y-o-y), Saskatoon home prices remain down (-0.3% y-o-y). That said, prices of late have been trending higher in both Regina and Saskatoon and if recent trends hold, Saskatoon prices will also turn positive on a y-o-y basis before year-end.

Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa (+5.9% y-o-y overall, led by a 7% increase in one-storey single family home prices) and was up in Greater Montreal (+4.6% y-o-y overall, led by a 7.1% increase in prices for townhouse/row units). Prices were up 5.1% overall in Greater Moncton, led by a 7.9% y-o-y gain in townhouse/row 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 August 2017 was $472,247, up 3.6% from where it stood one year earlier. The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims almost $100,000 from the national average price ($373,859).

– 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

CREA Lowers National Resale Housing Market Forecast


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

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

In Ontario, housing market sentiment has sidelined more buyers than was previously anticipated following changes to provincial housing policies aimed at reining in housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region announced in April. Activity has begun to show tentative signs of stabilizing among markets in the region, but is down sharply since March amid a rapid shift in housing market balance and increased cautiousness among homebuyers. Because the region is home to a quarter of the Canadian population, changes in sales activity there have a large influence on results for the province and nationally.

The downward revision in the national sales forecast primarily reflects the drop in Ontario home sales, which are projected to rebound only partially later this year. Because home prices in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region are well above those in much of the rest of Canada, the decline in Ontario’s share of national sales is also responsible for much of the downward revision in the national average price forecast.

In British Columbia, activity appears to be stabilizing somewhere in between the highs of early 2016 and the lows of late 2016 and early 2017. Meanwhile, sales activity is still running at lower levels while supply remains elevated in the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This has resulted in somewhat softer price trends in the two western provinces and more pronounced price declines in Newfoundland and Labrador.

To varying degrees, housing markets in Manitoba, Northern and Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had a breakout year in 2016, with rising sales drawing down previously elevated levels of supply. Inventories in these regions have continued to decline this year.

Tightened mortgage rules, higher mortgage default insurance premiums, changes to Ontario housing policies and higher interest rates are factors that will continue to lean against housing market activity over the rest of the year and into 2018. Additional interest rate increases and further tightening of mortgage regulations represent downside risks to the sales forecast, while improving Canadian economic fundamentals represent upside risks.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to decline by 5.3% to 506,900 units in 2017, which represents a drop of more than 20,000 transactions from CREA’s forecast published in June. The decline stems almost entirely from the downward revision to the forecast Ontario home sales. Sales in British Columbia and Ontario are both now projected to decline by about 10% in 2017 compared to all-time records set in 2016.

Newfoundland & Labrador is also forecast to see a sizeable decline in sales in 2017 (-8.1%), continuing a softening trend that stretches back nearly a decade. A smaller decline in activity is forecast for Saskatchewan (-4%).

Alberta is still projected to post the largest increase in activity in 2017 (+7.4%); however, the increase still leaves sales below the provincial 10-year average.

Sales this year are also forecast to rise in Quebec (+5.4% and New Brunswick (+5.7%), rise modestly in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and remain little changed in Prince Edward Island.

Manitoba and Quebec are the only two provinces expected to set new annual sales records in 2017, while sales in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are on track to come in just short of all-time record levels.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 3.4% to $506,700 in 2017. This marks a downward revision to the previous forecast, mostly reflecting fewer high priced sales in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

While Ontario is still forecast to post a sizeable year-over-year gain in 2017 (+8.7%), this is a large downward revision to the previously forecast increase.

Prince Edward Island is expected to post a similar average home price gain in 2017 (+7.4%), followed by Quebec (+4.5%), New Brunswick (+4.4%), Nova Scotia (+3.5%), Manitoba (+2.8%), British Columbia (+2.2%) and Alberta (+1.2%).

Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.3%) and Saskatchewan (-1.6%) are the only provinces where average price is projected to decline in 2017, in line with elevated supply relative to demand in these provinces.

In 2018, national sales are forecast to number 495,100 units, representing a decline of 2.3% compared to the 2017 forecast. As is the case this year, most of the annual decline in sales next year reflects an expected decline in Ontario sales, with activity anticipated to remain well below the record-levels logged in early 2017.

The national average price is forecast to edge lower by 0.6% to $503,500 in 2018, in large part reflecting a record number of high-end home sales in and around Toronto in early 2017 that is not expected to reoccur in 2018.

Further expected interest rate increases will hold sales in check in the Greater Vancouver and Toronto Areas. As a result, the average price is forecast to hold steady in 2018 in British Columbia and edge back by 1.1% in Ontario.

In an extension of trends for 2017, average prices in 2018 are forecast to rise by more than the rate of consumer price inflation in Quebec and New Brunswick, decline further in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador and either remain little changed or rise modestly next year in all other provinces.

– 30 –

 About The Canadian Real Estate Association

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

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations

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

Canadian home sales fall further in July


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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– 30 –

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales drop again in June


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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– 30 –

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please contact:

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

Canadian home sales drop sharply in May


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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

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

For more information, please contact:

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

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