Canadian home sales edge higher from February to March

Ottawa, ON, April 18, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were up on a month-over-month basis in March 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.1% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March was up 6.6% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 2.5% from February to March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 18.6% year-over-year (y-o-y) in March 2017.
  • The national average sale price increased by 8.2% y-o-y in March.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 1.1% in March 2017, surpassing the previous monthly record set in April 2016 by one-quarter of a percent.

March sales were up from the previous month in more than half of all local markets, led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, London & St. Thomas and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March was up 6.6% year-over-year, with gains in close to 75% of all local markets. Sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) posted the biggest increase, which offset a decline in the number of homes changing hands in Greater Vancouver.

“The current strength in national home sales mainly speaks to what’s going on in and around Toronto,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Elsewhere, sales either remain slow or well below previous heights. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“The latest Canadian housing market statistics suggest that the drum-tight housing market balance in Toronto and nearby cities stands in contrast to housing market trends elsewhere in Ontario and other provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Because housing market balance varies by location, federal or provincial policy measures aimed at cooling demand in Toronto risk destabilizing housing markets elsewhere.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 2.5% in March 2017, led by gains in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

With new listings having climbed by more than sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 67.4% in March compared to 68.3% in February.

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 the sellers’ market threshold in about 60% of all local housing markets in March, the majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario.

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 4.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of March 2017, down from 4.2 months in February and the lowest level for this measure in almost a decade. The number of months of inventory in March 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Barrie & District, parts of the Niagara Region and parts of cottage country.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 18.6% y-o-y in March 2017. Price gains accelerated for all benchmark housing categories tracked by the index.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+21%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+17.9%), one-storey single family homes (16.6%) and apartment units (16.3%).

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 location.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have been recovering in recent months after having dipped in the second half of last year. On a year-over-year basis, home prices in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver remain well above year-ago levels (+19.4% y-o-y and +12.7% y-o-y respectively).

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark price increases were in the 20% range in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. Guelph recorded a similar price gain, while Greater Toronto and Oakville-Milton saw prices rise in the 30% range in March.

By comparison, home prices eased by 1.2% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.5% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.4% and 5.1% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+1.7%), Ottawa (+4%), Greater Montreal (+3.3% y-o-y) and Greater Moncton (+4.7%).

Year-over-year price gains were led by different benchmark housing categories in each of these markets. In Regina, apartments posted the biggest price increase, which snapped a long series of price declines for apartments that began in early 2015. In Ottawa, prices rose most for one-storey single family homes. In Montreal, two-storey single family home prices posted the biggest gain; meanwhile in Moncton, it was townhouse/row unit prices that climbed the most.

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 March 2017 was $548,517, up 8.2% 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 remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. Even so, the average price is reduced by more than $150,000 to $389,726 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 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




Laura-Leah Shaw, REALTOR® from Vancouver, selected for national award celebrating wide range of philanthropic work

OTTAWA, March 27, 2017 – The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation has named Laura-Leah Shaw, of Vancouver, British Columbia, the recipient of its national award – the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2017 Proudly Presented by REM.

Shaw, of RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside, was selected because of the multitude of charities and activist organizations she actively supports. From supporting Vancouver-based homeless shelters and spearheading animal rights’ groups, to dropping off items at city food banks and being the longest-serving volunteer of the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive, Shaw fully devotes herself to helping others.

For more than 15 years, Shaw has been collecting healthy food options for the Lookout Society, an emergency aid organization helping Vancouver’s most vulnerable. Last year, she delivered more than 2,500 boxes of food – as well as furniture, clothes and appliances – to the Lookout Society and similar organizations in the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. She was also the first REALTOR® to join the HomeStart Foundation more than 11 years ago, helping those who are less fortunate complete their home.

As well as going above and beyond caring for humans, Shaw is passionate about the welfare of animals. She’s president of the Anti-Vivisection Society of British Columbia, advocating for an end to animal testing, has been volunteering with the Vancouver Humane Society for 12 years and estimates having saved the lives of thousands of animals.

“Laura-Leah is a relentless force for good in her community,” said Ralph Fyfe, chair of the Canadian REALTORS® Care Foundation. “Her noble commitment to helping others and working towards creating a cruelty-free world is truly inspiring.”

In recognition of the award, the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation will be donating $5,000 to Animal Justice Canada – a registered non-profit animal law organization close to Shaw’s heart.

“Being honoured with the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award is truly humbling. It’s not an award for me, it’s an award for all the people and animals in need that we can touch and help,” Shaw said. “Helping those in need feeds my soul. I hope to be able to use the award to bring new ideas of how to help and encourage the generous giving spirit in even more REALTORS®.”

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Award was established in 2015 to honour REALTORS® who do outstanding charitable work in the communities where they live and work. The Foundation’s inaugural winner was Vince Mirabelli of Thunder Bay, Ontario. A selection committee reviews nominees and chooses a winner based on the REALTOR®’s personal contribution and commitment to supporting one or more registered charities in Canada.

– 30 –

About the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation

The Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation is the REALTOR® community’s national charitable foundation, founded in 2007 and funded by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Our Foundation is dedicated to inspiring, supporting and sharing REALTORS®’ charitable achievements in their communities and raising awareness about the charities they care about.

From 2012 to 2015 alone, the Canadian REALTOR® community reported giving in excess of $91.2 million to the various charities close to their hearts. Please visit www.REALTORSCare.ca to learn more about how REALTORS® are making a difference in communities across Canada.

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 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate boards and associations.

For further information, please contact:

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




Canadian home sales climb in February

Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were up on a month-over-month basis in February 2017.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 5.2% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in February was down 2.6% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes was up 4.8% from January to February.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in February was up 16% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price edged up 3.5% y-o-y in February.

Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 5.2% month-over-month in February 2017 to reach the highest level since April 2016.

While February sales were up from the previous month in about 70% of all local markets, the national increase was overwhelmingly driven by an increase in activity across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and environs.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 2.6% from levels for the same month last year. The decline reflects a moderation in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia compared to extraordinarily elevated levels recorded one year ago.

“Housing market trends continue to differ by region,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “Homes are selling briskly throughout the Greater Toronto Area and nearby communities. Elsewhere, competition among potential buyers is less intense, so listings take longer to sell. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“In and around Toronto, many potential move-up buyers find themselves outbid in multiple-offer situations amid a short supply of listings,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “As a result, they aren’t putting their current home on the market. It’s something of a vicious circle from the standpoint of a supply shortage and a challenge for first-time and move-up home buyers alike. By contrast, housing markets in urban markets elsewhere in Canada are either balanced or are amply supplied. Because housing market conditions vary by region, further tightening of mortgage regulations aimed at cooling the housing market in one region may destabilize it elsewhere.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 4.8% in February 2017, led by the GTA and nearby markets following a sharp drop in January. More than one-third of all local housing markets saw new listings recede from levels the previous month, including those in the Prairies, northern Ontario and the Atlantic region. Meanwhile, new listings in the Greater Vancouver region fell significantly from January levels, having retreated by nearly 25% to reach the lowest level since 2001.

With similar monthly increases in both sales and new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 69.0% in February, little changed from 68.7% in January.

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 almost 60% of all local housing markets in February, the majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario.

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 4.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2017, down from 4.5 months in January and the lowest level for this measure in almost a decade.

The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country).

The number of months of inventory in February 2017 stood below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, Guelph, Barrie & District and the Kawartha Lakes region.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 16% y-o-y in February 2017. This was up from January’s gain reflecting an acceleration in home price increases, particularly for single family homes in and around Toronto.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+17.9%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+16%), one-storey single family homes (15%) and apartment units (13.7%).

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.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices are slightly off their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+21.4% y-o-y and +14% y-o-y respectively).

Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island, as well as in Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 30% in February.

By comparison, home prices were down by 1.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.2% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.6% and 5.1% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.5%), Ottawa (+3.8%), Greater Montreal (+3.3% y-o-y) and Greater Moncton (+1.2%).

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

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2017 was $519,521, up 3.5% 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 remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

That said, Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $150,000 to $369,728 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 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




CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, March 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.

Canadian housing market trends continue to display considerable regional divergence. In British Columbia, activity in the Lower Mainland has cooled markedly from all-time highs recorded early last year; however, sales and price pressures elsewhere in the province remain historically strong.

In the resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador, sales activity is still running at lower levels and supply is elevated. This has resulted in weakened price trends for these provinces.

In housing markets around the Greater Toronto Area and including the furthest reaches of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country), the balance between supply and demand has become increasingly tight. This is expected to lead to continued double-digit price growth, resulting in further erosion in affordability and sales activity in the absence of a significant and sustained rise in new supply.

Elsewhere, housing markets in places like Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have all experienced, to varying degrees, a breakout year in 2016 following a number of years of stagnation, with rising sales drawing down elevated supply.

Recently tightened mortgage rules, higher mortgage default insurance premiums and an expected rise in mortgage interest rates all represent headwinds to affordability in all Canadian housing markets. It will be some time before their full impact on housing markets is evident.

In some regions, the recently tightened “stress test” for mortgage financing qualification will force some first-time buyers to re-think how much home they can afford and may lead to a drop in home purchases as they shop for a lower priced home. In regions where there is a shortage of lower-priced inventory, some sales may be delayed as buyers save longer for a larger down payment.

In markets like Vancouver and Toronto, where single family homes are in short supply and there are few affordable options, some buyers may find themselves priced out of the market entirely. In Toronto, the stress test for mortgage qualification may prompt some buyers to move further out into communities located in the Greater Golden Horseshoe where homes are more affordably priced.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to decline by 3% to 518,700 units in 2017. In line with CREA’s previous forecast, the upward revision to the sales forecast for Ontario offsets a downward revision to British Columbia’s.

British Columbia is forecast to see the largest decline in sales in 2017 (-17.5%), followed by Prince Edward Island (‑10.8%). Activity in both provinces is retreating from all-time highs reached last year. Newfoundland & Labrador is also forecast to see a decline in sales in 2017 (-8.4%), continuing a softening trend that stretches back nearly a decade.

Alberta is forecast to have the largest increase in activity in 2017 (+5%) that still leaves it nearly 10% below the 10-year average.

Elsewhere, sales activity is forecast to be little changed from 2016 to 2017. Ontario sales are forecast to rise by less than 1% in 2017, as strong demand runs up against an increasingly acute supply shortage.

In provinces where economic and housing market prospects are closely tied to the outlook for oil and other natural resource industries, average prices are showing tentative signs of stabilizing in Alberta while softening in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

While prices are still rising rapidly in Ontario, British Columbia has seen a compositional shift in the average price that reflects softer sales activity in the Lower Mainland which has some of the most expensive real estate in Canada.

Average prices in other provinces are either rising modestly or holding steady, reflecting well balanced supply and demand.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 4.8% to $513,500 in 2017, with significant regional variations. The average price is expected to retreat by more than 5% in British Columbia as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, by 2.8% in Saskatchewan while rising by more than 15% in Ontario.

In other provinces where average price last year began showing tentative signs of improving, average price gains are forecast to hold below the rate of inflation in 2017 as the impact of recent regulatory changes and higher expected mortgage rates lean against stronger demand and tighter market conditions.

In 2018, national sales are forecast to number 513,400 units, representing a decline of 1% compared to the 2017 forecast. Most of the annual decline is expected result from fewer sales in Ontario.

The national average price is forecast to rise by 5% to $539,400 in 2018, reflecting ongoing market tightness in Ontario and a further return to more normal levels in British Columbia. Price gains outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe are not expected to approach the increase in the national average price.

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador are projected to see average prices decline in 2018 by less than 1%. In most other parts of Canada, home price increases are forecast to more or less track overall consumer price inflation 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 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)