Volume and value of Vancouver apartment sales rise

Greater Vancouver’s multi-family sector is still in overdrive, as investors have pushed up sales volumes and values significantly from the same period a year ago.

Meridian Apartments“We are doing so many proposals for clients now who never would have previously considered selling,” said Mark Goodman, principal with The Goodman Report and HQ Commercial.

Goodman’s company sold 24 properties worth more than $300 million in the first eight months of this year. Overall, there have been 145 multi-family transactions through August, compared to 101 last year. The value of transactions is just over $1.3 billion so far, a 93 per cent increase over last year for the same time frame.

A lot of apartment owners who’ve held off selling for years may now want to retire or find themselves with older buildings requiring more maintenance and capital expenditures, and the high prices their properties can fetch is an added incentive.

“Now is the best time to sell”

“Now is the best time to sell because the demand is there and the concerns are that there may be a shift in the market,” said Goodman.

“When you see a lot more product coming on the market there’s a lot more competition, and more supply could mean a leveling off or even a decline in prices. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but there’s a lot more product coming on the market right now.”

The Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, South Granville and University of British Columbia neighbourhoods generally have the highest values, and that’s reflected in the rents they can achieve. Goodman said value-add buyers are acquiring 50-year-old apartments, investing $50,000 per unit to renovate them, and then doubling rents from $1.50 to three dollars per square foot.

“I’ve seen up to $3.75 per square foot for a really nice retrofitted suite. You can’t get that same level of rent bump in the suburbs, so you have to be a bit more selective of the property and how much money you want to put into it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Burnaby and New Westminster are active

Burnaby is the most active suburb for multi-family transactions, particularly in Metrotown, as properties are being acquired for redevelopment. New Westminster and North Vancouver follow while, at the other end of the spectrum, Surrey, Mission and Port Moody have seen much slower building turnover.

The 15 per cent tax introduced for foreign buyers of Greater Vancouver residential properties has had a negligible effect on the purpose-built, multi-family market. Local investors and institutional money are driving the bulk of sales. Just two of HQ Commercial’s last 50 sales were to foreign owners and Goodman estimates that two to three per cent of purpose-built apartments in the region are owned by foreigners.

“The apartment business is very hands-on and management-intensive at times, so you’d have to have a local group here to handle it. “

HQ Commercial hires Cynthia Jagger

HQ Commercial has become so busy that it recently hired Cynthia Jagger as a broker. She was a senior appraiser at Altus Group, specializing in multi-family land and apartment buildings, and has underwritten and provided guidance on some of the biggest land deals in Vancouver’s history.

“This is the first time where any brokerage has hired someone of this calibre and with this expertise in doing very complex residuals for developers,” said Goodman. “She has extensive knowledge and relationships with a lot of institutional groups and pension funds and brings another level to our operations here.”

Meridian is new purpose-built rental project

HQ Commercial’s biggest new listing is a purpose-built luxury rental apartment and townhouse project called Meridian in Langley being built by Tannin Developments, which has been responsible for several apartments, condominiums and townhouse projects in British Columbia.

The apartment complex features a five-storey, 90-suite apartment building that’s scheduled for completion in January. The very rare rental townhouse complex features 24 three-level homes with rooftop decks that are scheduled for completion in September 2017. Meridian is on the market for $47.5 million, which works out to $468.52 per square foot. It will provide annual net operating income of $1.91 million.

“The suites have really good layouts,” said Goodman. “It will have all of the modern trappings that you would expect to see in a condo building.”

There’s private secured parking for each apartment unit, secured bicycle storage, storage lockers on each floor as well as surface parking for visitors. The townhomes include two parking stalls per unit and eight visitor spots.

A stand-alone amenity building for apartment and townhome tenants features: a secure outdoor area with a playground; an entertainment room with a gas fireplace, children’s play area and a full kitchen for functions; a 16-seat theatre room; and a workout gym with separate cardio and yoga spaces.

Meridian is situated close to a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, Willowbrook Shopping Centre, recreational centres and an elementary school. Parks, a BMX bike trail, golf courses and equestrian centres for horseback riding are also nearby.

The Kaleden is renting for less than market values

Another HQ Commercial new listing is The Kaleden, a wood-frame walk-up rental apartment building featuring eight two-bedroom and three one-bedroom suites. It’s located on the northwest corner of West 13th Avenue and Oak Street in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood, near transit routes and a hospital.

The Kaleden was built in 1950 and underwent major renovations in 2008 and from 2013 through this year. The asking price is $6.545 million. While rents in the building now average $1.88 per square foot, Goodman said it’s conceivable that they could reach three dollars once current tenants leave.

“The prospective investor will have a clean and well-maintained building with a great suite mix and, on turnover, they won’t have to touch the suites. They’ll just remarket it.”

The post Volume and value of Vancouver apartment sales rise appeared first on Real Estate News Exchange (RENX).

Canadian home sales strengthen further in May

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.

– 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 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 Updates Resale Housing Forecast

Mon, 06/15/2015 – 08:58

Ottawa, ON, June 15 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2015 and 2016.

While oil prices have firmed up recently, they remain well down from where they were a year ago and their outlook remains uncertain. The extent to which lower oil prices will continue to weigh on the Canadian economy also remains uncertain. In the Prairie region, this is dampening consumer confidence and sidelining potential homebuyers.

When CREA published its previous forecast in March, a rush of homeowners in Alberta had listed their property for sale. Since then, new supply has sharply pulled back. CREA’s forecast remains for a continued gradual improvement in home sales and housing market conditions in oil-producing provinces in line with further gradual oil price gains.

Home sales elsewhere in Canada are continuing to evolve mostly as expected, with the exception of a slower than expected spring market in Nova Scotia due to extraordinarily inclement weather and stronger than expected sales activity across much of British Columbia.

Low rise property markets remain tight in parts of British Columbia and Ontario. These are the only two provinces where a shortage of listings for low rise homes is expected to fuel average price gains above inflation this year.

In other provinces, listings have begun to decline but remain elevated. Average prices across the Prairies, Quebec and the Atlantic region are unlikely to see much in the way of price growth over the forecast horizon as sales gradually deplete listings.

The forecast for national sales in 2015 has been revised upward, reflecting stronger than anticipated activity in British Columbia. National sales are now projected to rise by 1.3 per cent to 487,200 units in 2015, which is slightly above its 10-year annual average.

British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in activity in 2015 (+12.2 per cent), while Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to post the largest annual sales declines (-18.2 per cent and -12.9 per cent respectively). Modest changes in annual home sales are forecast for all other provinces.

 

The forecast for national average home price growth has been revised upward to $429,400 for an annual increase of 5.2 per cent in 2015. This reflects forecast average price gains in British Columbia and Ontario together with a projected increase in their proportion of national sales. British Columbia is expected to be the only province where average price rises faster (8.5 per cent) than the national average, while the rise in Ontario’s average price (5.6 per cent) is predicted to be roughly in line with the national increase.

Average prices are projected to remain largely stable in other provinces this year, with annual changes ranging between plus or minus one per cent. The exception is Alberta, where average price is forecast to slip by 2.8 per cent amid a pullback in higher-priced property sales activity.

In 2016, national sales activity is forecast to reach 491,200 units, a further annual gain of 0.8 per cent. The increase reflects an anticipated rise in sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan, in line with a gradual improvement in their economic outlook.

Although sales in British Columbia are expected to remain strong in 2016, it is the only province where they are forecast to moderate (-2.9 per cent) due to stretched affordability. Strengthening economic prospects should translate into slow and steady gains in other provinces where home sales have struggled in recent years while prices remained more affordable due to an elevated supply of listings.

The national average price is forecast to rise by a further 1.7 per cent to $436,700 in 2016, with larger percentage increases in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. Price growth in 2016 is forecast to be strongest in Ontario (+2.6 per cent) due to an ongoing supply shortage of listings for low rise homes in and around the Greater Toronto Area. An improvement in the share of higher-priced sales activity is anticipated to boost average prices in Alberta (+2.4 per cent).

Gains of around two per cent are forecast for British Columbia and Manitoba, and around one per cent for Saskatchewan and Quebec. Average home prices in the Atlantic region are forecast to hold steady in 2016.

– 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 100,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through more than 100 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

 

Systems Administrator (12 Months Contract)

Systems Administrator (12 Months Contract)
Tue, 06/02/2015

Reports to:
Manager, ITS Operations

Type of position:
12 Months Contract

General Description:
Provide second level of support; participate in the design, architecture, deployment, monitoring maintenance and turning of highly available physical and virtual systems, web applications and infrastructure to deliver quality IT services, optimize performance and maintain service levels.

Responsibilities:

read more

Bank of Canada stays on the sidelines

Fri, 05/29/2015 – 09:45

Ottawa, ON, May 29, 2015 –The Bank of Canada announced on May 27th, 2015 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent.

The Bank of Canada announced on May 27th, 2015 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent.

Economic growth in the first quarter was weaker than the Bank expected, but it “expects a return to solid growth in the second quarter.” It still believes that exports and business investment will pick up and that the Canadian economy will grow by just under 2 per cent this year.

The Bank thinks the economic fallout from low oil prices will be neatly limited to the first quarter. If it proves to be longer lasting, the Bank may downgrade its economic outlook again and further delay raising interest rates. Financial markets currently expect the Bank to start raising interest rates in the second half of 2016.

The Bank sets interest rates so that inflation stays around 2% (plus or minus 1%). Economic growth plays an important role in the Bank’s assessment of the outlook for inflation. Its announcement said, “seeing through the various temporary factors, the Bank estimates that the underlying trend of inflation is 1.6 to 1.8 per cent, consistent with persistent slack in the economy.” This makes clear the Bank has little reason to raise its trend-setting Bank rate anytime soon.

The Bank’s announcement ended by saying “a number of complex adjustments are under way.” and suggested “their net effect will need to be assessed as more data become available in the months ahead.” In the meantime, interest rates will remain supportive for Canadian home sales and prices.

As of May 27th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on April 15th and down 0.15 percentage points from one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on July 15th, 2015 and will be accompanied by an update to the Monetary Policy report.

(CREA 05/27/2015)

Canadian home sales up again in April

Fri, 05/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, May 15, 2015According 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.

– 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 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

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

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.

– 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 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 edge up in February

Fri, 03/13/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, March 13, 2015– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up slightly on month-over-month basis in February 2015.

Ottawa, ON, March 13, 2015– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up slightly on month-over-month basis in February 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged up 1.0% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above February 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 2.5% from January to February.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.01% year-over-year in February.
  • The national average sale price rose 6.3% on a year-over-year basis in February.

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

Boards and Associations rose by one per cent in February 2015 compared to January.

The monthly increase was led by Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan region, and Greater Toronto. Gains there offset sales declines elsewhere, with more than half of all local markets having posted weaker sales in February compared to January.

“A number of buyers across the Prairies stayed on the sidelines in February,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That’s likely to remain an important part of the national housing story until the outlook for oil prices starts improving. Meanwhile, home sales in British Columbia and much of Ontario are improving, which underscores the fact that all real estate is local. Nobody knows this better than your local REALTOR®, who remains your best source for information about the housing market where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in February stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year, but remained five per cent below the 10-year average for the month of February.

“Sales came in below the ten-year average for the month of February in two-thirds of all local markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “That said, the opposite was true in a few large urban markets in British Columbia and Ontario despite a shortage of listings there, which is fuelling prices higher.”

The number of newly listed homes fell 2.5 per cent in February compared to January, led by Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan region, and Calgary. New listings in Calgary have retreated in recent months after having climbed sharply toward the end of last year.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 52.2 per cent in February. With sales up and new listings down, this marked an increase from 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 more than half of all local markets in February.

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 6.4 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2015, down from 6.5 months in January. Both the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of inventory measures continue to point to a balanced market at the national level.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.01 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February. Price gains have held steady between five and five-and-a-half per cent for more than a year.

Year-over-year price growth decelerated in February for all Aggregate Benchmark housing types tracked by the index except two-storey single family homes, which again posted the biggest year-over-year price gain (+6.63 per cent).

This was followed by townhouse/row units (+4.44 per cent) and one-storey single family homes (+4.34 per cent). Price growth remained more modest for apartment units (+2.77 per cent).

Price gains varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Toronto (+7.84 per cent), Greater Vancouver (+6.38 per cent) and Calgary (+5.96 per cent) posted the biggest year-over-year increases. Even so, the increase in Calgary was far smaller than gains posted last year and the smallest since December 2012.

In other markets from West to East, prices were up compared to year-ago levels by between two and two-and-a-half per cent in the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, while holding steady in Saskatoon, Ottawa, and Greater Montreal, and falling 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 February 2015 was $431,812, up 6.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price remains 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 $326,910 and the year-over-year gain shrinks to just 1.5 per cent.

CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Forecast

Fri, 03/13/2015 – 08:58

Ottawa, ON, March 13, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2015 and extended it to 2016.

The further decline in oil prices since CREA’s last forecast has shaken consumer confidence in the Prairies, pushing potential homebuyers to the sidelines and prompting more homeowners to put their home on the market. This has led to a rapid shift in market balance in Alberta, and to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan. Annual sales in these provinces are expected to come in well below elevated levels posted last year, with small declines in average residential prices in 2015.

Additionally, the Canadian dollar has weakened further against the U.S. dollar, mortgage rates have declined and the U.S. economy has strengthened since CREA’s last forecast, which taken together are expected to benefit economic and job growth in other provinces. Accordingly, CREA has upwardly revised its forecast for sales activity for much of the rest of the country.

The balance between supply and demand continues to tighten in British Columbia and Ontario. These are the only two provinces where tight supply relative to demand is expected to result in average price gains that surpass inflation this year.

By contrast, average prices in Quebec and the Atlantic region are expected to remain relatively stable, as sales deplete elevated levels of supply.

On balance, the forecast for national sales has been revised lower, reflecting downward revisions to the outlook for sales in Alberta. National sales are now projected to reach 475,700 units in 2015, representing an annual decline of 1.1 per cent. This would place annual activity slightly above but still broadly in line with its 10-year average (Chart A).

British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in activity in 2015 (+4.9 per cent) followed closely by Nova Scotia (+3.7 per cent), Quebec (+2.5 per cent), New Brunswick (+2.5 per cent), Ontario (+1.9 per cent), and Prince Edward Island (+1.4 per cent). These numbers represent upward revisions to CREA’s previous forecast.

Alberta is expected to post the largest annual decline in sales this year (-19.2 per cent), though the trend for activity is expected to begin recovering from a weak start to the year as consumer confidence recovers. Sales are also forecast to decline on an annual basis in Saskatchewan (-11.2 per cent), and Manitoba (-2.2 per cent).

The national average home price is now forecast to rise by two per cent to $416,200 in 2015. Only British Columbia (+3.4 per cent) and Ontario (+2.5 per cent) are forecast to see gains in excess of the national increase.

Prices are projected to remain largely stable elsewhere, with increases or decreases of around one per cent or less this year. The exception is Alberta, where average price is forecast to fall by 3.4 per cent, reflecting a pullback in sales for luxury properties compared to homes in more affordable price segments.

In 2016, national sales activity is forecast to reach 482,700 units, representing an annual increase of 1.7 per cent. Much of the annual increase reflects an anticipated recovery for sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan in line with expected economic improvement in those provinces.

Strengthening economic prospects are expected to result in improving sales activity in other provinces where sales have struggled, keeping prices more affordable amid ample supply. Meanwhile, anticipated mortgage rate increases are expected to keep activity in check in markets where homes are already less affordable and prices have continued rising.

The national average price is forecast to rise by a further 1.9 per cent to $424,100 in 2016. Given an ongoing shortage of supply for single family homes in and around the Greater Toronto Area, price growth in 2016 is forecast to be strongest in Ontario (+2.5 per cent) and Alberta (+2.4 per cent).

Gains of around two per cent are forecast for British Columbia and Manitoba, and around one per cent for Saskatchewan and Quebec. Average home price in the Atlantic region is forecast to hold steady in 2016.

– 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 109,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through some 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