Canadian home sales edge lower in June

July 17, 2012 · Filed Under CREA Reports and Real Estate Canada · Comments Off 

According to statistics released yesterday by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing activity edged lower on a month-over-month basis in June 2012.  Price gains remained strong in Toronto, continued slowing in Greater Vancouver, and accelerated in Calgary.
Highlights:
• Home sales down 1.3% from May to June.
• Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.4% below levels in June 2011, marking the first yearover-year decline since April 2011.
• The number of newly listed homes climbed 1.4% from May to June.
• Fewer sales and a rise in new listings resulted in a more balanced national housing market.
• The national average home price slipped 0.8% on a year-over-year basis in June.
• The Aggregate Composite Benchmark home price was up 5.12% year-over-year in June.

Sales over Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems in Canada eased 1.3 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2012. This follows a 3.4 per cent decline posted in May.

National activity was down from the previous month in slightly more than half of all local markets, with Greater Toronto and Vancouver contributing most to the small decline.

“Canada’s housing market lost a little altitude in June, but it’s still flying pretty high,” said Wayne Moen, CREA President. “That said, sales activity and average prices bucked the national easing trend in a number of markets, which underscores that all real estate is local. Buyers and sellers should talk to their REALTOR® to understand how the housing market is  shaping up in their area.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.4 per cent in June 2012 compared to the same month last year. This marks the first year-over-year decline in national activity since April 2011.

Boosted by strong activity in March and April, a total of 257,193 homes traded hands over Canadian MLS® Systems in the first half of 2012. This is up 4.7 per cent from levels reported over the same period in 2011, and marks the strongest  sales for the first half of any year since 2007.

“Home buyers didn’t rush their purchases before the most recently announced changes to mortgage regulations came  into effect,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “That’s a big change compared to what we saw as a response to previously announced changes. It will take some time before the compound effect of previous and recent changes to regulations on Canada’s housing market becomes apparent.”

The number of newly listed homes rose 1.4 per cent in June compared to May.

Nationally, the number of months of inventory stood at six months at the end of June, up slightly from 5.9 months of  inventory at the end of May. The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and is a further measure of the balance between housing supply  and demand.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) is a more accurate measure of Canadian home price trends, since it is not  distorted up or down by changes in the mix of sales. It tracks home price trends in five of Canada’s most active housing  markets, including Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto, and Montreal. These markets  account for nearly half of all home sales activity over Canadian MLS® Systems.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 5.1 per cent from May to June 2012. This represents a slight deceleration from the 5.2 per cent gain reported in  May. The year-over-year increase was again highest in Greater Toronto (7.9%), followed by Calgary (5.6%), Greater  Montreal (2.7%), the Fraser Valley (2.6%), and Greater Vancouver (1.7%).

Changes to Mortgage Regulations in Canada

June 21, 2012 · Filed Under CREA Reports and Real Estate Canada · Comments Off 

This morning, the Minister of Finance announced changes to the standards governing government-backed insured mortgages:

  • the maximum amortization period was reduced from 30 years to 25 years;
  • the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages was lowered to 80 per cent from 85 per cent of the value of their homes;
  • the maximum gross debt service ratio was fixed at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent; and
  •  the availability of government-backed insured mortgages was limited to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million.

Canadians will continue to be able to purchase a home with five percent down.

The changes announced today will come into effect on July 9, 2012. Details of the announcement can be found here.

Canadian home price trends continue to diverge in April

May 29, 2012 · Filed Under CREA Reports · Comments Off 

According to statistics released May 25, 2012 by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the MLS® Home Price Index, the leading measure of Canadian home prices, increased in April 2012.

 Highlights:

  • The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index in April 2012 was up 5.2% year-over-year.
  • Toronto again posted the largest year-over-year increase (7.9%), with more modest gains in Calgary (4.0%), Vancouver (3.7%), the Fraser Valley (2.7%), and Montreal (2.3%).
  • Year-over-year price gains accelerated in April in Toronto and Calgary but slowed in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and were little changed in Montreal.
  • Single family home prices again posted the biggest gains (6.4%), with apartment unit and townhome sales making more modest headway (3.6% and 2.7% respectively).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 5.2 per cent year-over-year in April 2012. The increase was similar to those for the previous two months and among the smallest since last August. However, the moderation in overall price gains in recent months masks diverging trends among the major Canadian markets.

 

Canadian Home prices up in February but gains slowing

March 23, 2012 · Filed Under CREA Reports · Comments Off 

This was released today from CREA.

The MLS® Home Price Index, the leading measure of Canadian home prices, continued rising in February 2012, according to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Year-over-year comparisons continued shrinking, providing further evidence that Canadian home price growth may be topping out.

 Highlights:

•        The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index in February 2012 was up 5.1% from its year-ago level, the smallest increase since June 2011.

•        Toronto posted the largest increase (7.3%), but momentum continued fading. Price increases also moderated further in Calgary (2.5%) and Montreal (1.6%).

•        Gains decelerated in all housing categories tracked except 2-storey single family homes.

•        The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index rose 1.1% on a month-over-month basis in February 2012.

•        Prices were up most for 2-storey single family homes (1.6%), while townhouse/row and apartment units saw smaller gains (0.4% & 0.5% respectively).

The MLS® Home Price Index in February 2012 was up 5.1 per cent from levels in February 2011. The increase was the smallest since last June, and marked the fourth consecutive month in which gains slowed.

“MLS® HPI trends for February show that home price growth is generally slowing,” said Gary Morse, CREA President. “At the same time, price gains and trends differ among housing markets tracked by the index. Since all real estate is local, buyers and sellers should talk to their local REALTOR® to best understand how home price trends are shaping up where they live.”

The MLS® HPI remained above its year-ago level in all five of the markets tracked, led by Toronto (7.3 per cent). It also remains above year-ago levels in all housing categories tracked, led by two storey single family homes (6.9%).

The MLS® Home Price Index rose 1.1 per cent in February 2012 as compared to January. “The index typically rises in February from the previous month as demand ramps up leading into the spring housing market,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The monthly price increase in February this year was less than what we saw in either of the past two years, which is more evidence that the trend for Canadian home prices is slowing.”
Among housing categories tracked by the index, single family homes posted the biggest month-over month gains in most markets, particularly in Toronto where they are in short supply relative to strong demand.

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

August 18, 2011 · Filed Under CREA Reports and Market Trends · Comments Off 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has revised its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2011 and 2012.

Overall, sales activity and prices remained stronger than expected in the second quarter. Sales momentum was also better than expected heading into the third quarter. As a result, the 2011 national forecasts for sales activity and average price have been raised slightly.
Here are some of the key points from the news release

  • National sales activity is forecast to reach 450,800 units in 2011, up less than one per cent from levels in 2010.
  • British Columbia’s 2011 sales forecast revised slightly higher, (home sales there appear to have bottomed out sooner than expected)
  •  Stronger than expected activity in Ontario offset slightly softer than anticipated demand in Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland in the second quarter of 2011.
  • Ontario sales forecast for 2011 has been raised, while the outlook for activity in Quebec, Manitoba, and Newfoundland has been revised lower.
  • National sales activity in 2012 is forecast to ease seven tenths of a percentage point to 447,700 units
  • The national average home price is forecast to rise 7.2 per cent in 2011 to $363,500.

Vacancy Rates Up Across Newfoundland

June 9, 2011 · Filed Under CREA Reports, St. John's Investments and St. John's Rentals Info · Comments Off 

Results of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s Spring 2011 Rental Market Survey released today indicate that the overall vacancy rate was up in provincial urban centres in April 2011. The overall vacancy rate was 2.1 per cent, an increase of one per cent from last April’s rate of 1.1 per cent.
The St. John’s area rental market posted a vacancy rate of two per cent in April 2011 compared to 1.1 per cent last April. “With an active labour market, population growth will continue to create rental demand and keep vacancy rates low within the region,” said Chris Janes, senior market analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “High home prices and a strong economy are supporting demand for rental units. These factors, coupled with limited new rental supply being added to the market, continue to keep the vacancy rate low,” added Janes.
The Corner Brook area posted the lowest vacancy rate in the province at 1.7 per cent compared to 0.8 per cent a year ago. Other centres surveyed recorded the following vacancy rates: the Gander area increased to 2.3 per cent from 0.6 per cent last year and the Grand Falls-Windsor area came in at 2.7 per cent, a vacancy rate comparable to last year.

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