The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) updated their residential housing market statistics on March 15. The new report now expects home sales and prices in Canada to fall over the course of 2018. However, the national average is heavily skewed by sales in the Greater Vancouver Area and Greater Toronto Area, which are now responding to cooling measures implemented by their provincial governments.
Here is summary of CREA’s February report:
National Statistics: Home Prices Expected to Fall Further
- A 6.5% decrease in Canadian home sales was recorded between January and February.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity decreased by 16.9% year-over-year in February.
- The number of new active listings on MLS increased by 8.1% from January to February.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in February increased by 6.9% year-over-year.
- The national average sale price in February decreased by 5% year-over-year.
Home sales recorded on Canada’s MLS® System declined by 6.5% in February. This marks the lowest reading in nearly five years.
Sales decreased in two thirds of all the local housing markets, with the largest monthly decreases recorded in the GVA and GTA.
“Sales activity is down in many, but not all, housing markets compared to the end of last year, and varies depending on price range, location and property type” stated Andrew Peck, president of CREA. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times.”
Active Listings and Market Conditions
The number of active listings recorded on MLS rose by 8.1% in February, after a decrease of more than 20% the previous month. Despite the increase, the levels of new active listings were low compared to February 2017.
Supply increased in three fourths of Canadian markets, let by British Colombia, Lower Mainland, GTA and Montreal. All four of these markets continue to be balanced, or to favor sellers.
The national sales-to-new listings ratio decreased from 63.7% in January to 55% in February. This indicates a balanced national housing market.
Average time on market was recorded at 5.3 months – in line with the long-term average of 5.2 months. Time on market (months of inventory) is another tool to measure the balance between supply and demand.
Average Prices – Canada and Montreal
The aggregate composite MLS® HPI (Home Price Index) increased by 6.9% year over year in February 2018. Although the HPI increased overall, they did so at a slower rate than expected. This was the 10th consecutive month that national home prices decelerated in year over year gains.
- Condominiums showed the largest gains in February: 20.1%
- Townhouse units appreciated by 11.8%
- One storey detached homes appreciated by 3.5%
- Two storey detached homes appreciated by 1%
Benchmark home prices rose by 6.1% in Greater Montreal, led by a 8.8% increase in townhouse/row unit price.
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the most accurate pricing trends, since it accounts for fluctuations in sales activity from one month to the next.
In Montreal, prices are most elevated for two-storey single family homes, and most affordable in the condominium market. Average prices for single family homes, condos, and revenue properties per Montreal neighbourhood are detailed in this article.
In CREA’s Resale Housing Report, the organization confirms that “Home prices in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are expected to continue to rise following years of steadily firming market conditions.”
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade Associations. It includes more than 100,000 real estate brokers, agents and salespeople, working through 100 real estate Boards and Associations across Canada.