Newfoundland Real Estate Stats for April

May 3, 2009 · Filed Under Market Trends, Monthly MLS Stats, Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

Active MLS Listings have increased this month compared to March NLAR stats, while home sales have remained fairly constant.  The biggest increase in stats was Expired Listings.  Up a whopping 39% since last year.  What does this mean to the St. John’s Real Estate Market?  Houses are staying on the market longer.  Potential for price reductions.  It appears to be slipping into a buyers market now.  However, there are still houses selling the same day and some still seeing multiple offers.

The average price for a home in St. John’s edged slightly higher again for another month (currently at $206,938 for a 12 month period).

Mortgage rates are still at all time lows. The Bank of Canada’s Prime lending rate is at 2.25% and supposed to hold steady here til 2010.  Great for varible rate mortgages but it might be the time to look into a fixed term as the rates can only go up from here.

Total # of MLS Listings [Apr] = 975

Total # of Sales [Apr] = 288

Number of Active Listings in the NLAR MLS System (ALL of Newfoundland) = 2953

Here is a break down by area for the month of April

St. John’s Real Estate: Listings = 181  Sales = 66 Sales/Listings Ratio = 36%

Average Sale Price: $214,590 for the month of April

Mount Pearl Real Estate: Listings = 24 Sales = 10  Sales/Listings Ratio = 42%

Average Sale Price: $198,655

Paradise Real Estate: Listings =65 Sales = 22 Sales/Listings Ratio =34%

Average Sale Price: $239,039

East Extern Real Estate: Listings = 45 Sales = 18   Sales/Listings Ratio = 40%

Average Sale Price: $231,872

Conception Bay South Real Estate: Listings = 56   Sales = 15  Sales/Listings Ratio = 27%

Average Sale Price: $202,399

Average Housing Price Lower across Canada

October 15, 2008 · Filed Under Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · 4 Comments 

Average price of a home in Canada fell by 6.2 per cent since last year to an average of $315,461.  It was the fourth straight month in which prices fell on a year-over-year basis.

It appears that there are still pockets of real estate markets across Canada that are still booming.  However price declines in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets will far outweigh further price gains in other markets (ie St. John’s Real Estate market)

Calvin Lindberg, CREA president says “Informed buyers and informed sellers look at the facts. And the facts right now indicate the real estate resale market is stabilizing in many markets.”

“There have also been a number of initiatives that will have an impact going forward, including the government’s decision to invest $25 billion in insured mortgage pools, the recent drop in the Bank of Canada rate, and the new rules reducing the maximum amortization to 35 years instead of 40,” the CREA President adds. Those new mortgage rules go into effect October 15th. “The third quarter MLS® statistics and these developments are more factors showing the Canadian market is not following U.S. housing trends.”

New MLS residential listing levels reach new heights in July

September 1, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, Real Estate Articles · Comments Off 

The number of new listings of homes for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) of all real estate Boards in Canada set a new record in July 2008, according to MLS® statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

New MLS® residential listings numbered 80,147 units in July 2008, up 1.4 per cent from the previous month and 0.5 per cent above the previous record set in May 2008. This is the first time in any month that new listings surpassed eighty thousand units.

The number of new listings scaled to new heights in Ontario and Quebec, and in Manitoba climbed to their second-highest level since the beginning of the new millennium. This more than offset a monthly decline in the number of new listings in Alberta, where levels continue retreating from the peak reached in March.

Seasonally adjusted national sales activity in July 2008 was stable compared to the previous month. It has been holding steady since posting a 6.0 per cent month-over-month decline in February. Monthly activity rose in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island for the second time in as many months. Activity also rose on a month-over-month basis in Newfoundland & Labrador. The monthly increase in activity in these provinces was offset by a monthly decline in activity in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Sales activity set a new monthly record in Manitoba, and in Newfoundland & Labrador. It also climbed to its highest point on record for the year-to-date in these provinces.

“To keep things in perspective, 2007 was a record year for MLS® sales in Canada,” says the President of The Canadian Real Estate Association, Calvin Lindberg. “The fact that sales volume continue at levels so close to that record year indicates what a dynamic and active real estate market there is in many regions of the country.”

“The other factor is that the more listings there are on the market, the bigger the impact on the average price,” the CREA President adds. “It means a market when buyers have more options, and sellers must be realistic in their pricing expectations. A REALTOR® has expertise and marketing resources to help both.”

Resale housing market balance is represented by sales as a percentage of new listings. The continuing rise in the number of new listings is resulting in a considerably more balanced resale housing market this year than buyers faced last year. This trend is most apparent in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, which remained the most balanced provincial markets in July. The market is showing signs of stabilizing in Alberta, where new listings have declined and market balance has tightened in each of the months from April to July 2008.

“The trend for new listings generally reflects recent price trends,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “While still elevated, new listings in Alberta are easing and market balance is stabilizing now that prices there have softened. Similar trends are expected to play out in other western provinces where prices posted sharp gains last year,” he said.

The national MLS® residential average price eased by 2.4 per cent year-over-year in July 2008, compared to the average price decline of 3.6 per cent in the major markets in Canada reported by CREA earlier this month. The MLS® price decline reflects softening average prices in Alberta and an increase in the province’s share of national sales activity compared to year-ago levels. By contrast, residential average price climbed to its highest level for the month of July in all other provinces except British Columbia, and its highest level ever in Newfoundland & Labrador. Average price for the year to date (as of July 2008) is 2.7 percent above where it stood over the same period last year.

Seasonally adjusted dollar volume for MLS® sales totaled $11.8 billion in July 2008, climbing to the highest level ever in Manitoba and Nova Scotia. It also reached the highest level on record for the month of July in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador. Volume for the year to date in July also achieved the second highest level on record, down 16.6 per cent from the peak last year.

(CREA 29/08/08)

St. John’s Resale Market remains as Sellers Market

July 18, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

MLS® sales advanced 9.3 percent to 1,084 units compared to last year’s second quarter sales of 992 units.

April, May and June MLS® sales were 308, 346 and 430, respectively

Second quarter average MLS® residential house price surged 16 percent to $169,734 compared to $146,509 during the second quarter of 2007, with additional price growth expected throughout the remainder of 2008.

There were 2,243 new residential listings during the second quarter compared to 2,344 during the same period last year

With sellers conditions, active listings averaged just 1,540 from April to June versus 2,750 during the second quarter of 2007.

Sales to active listings ratio hit 26.3 percent in June and averaged 23.5 per cent during the second quarter, nearly double the 12 percent level recorded a year ago.

Sellers Market Keeps Active Listings Down

High demand for housing has driven active residential listings much lower since mid 2007, making it increasingly difficult for some REALTORS® to obtain listings

Active listings for April, May and June were 1,411, 1,573 and 1,633, respectively

New listings decreased 4.3 percent during the second quarter and are down 4.1 percent so far this year as some sellers hold out for further price appreciation.

Bank of Canada has cut rates 150 basis points (1.50 percent) since December 2007 and will remain on hold for most of 2008

Bank rate currently sits at 3.00 percent with the prime lending rate at 4.75 percent.

One and five-year fixed mortgage rates are forecast to remain within the 6.70-7.25 and 7.00-7.50 per cent range, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, while some variable rate mortgages will remain as low as 4.10 percent

Say Goodbye to 40 year mortgages and 100% financing

July 10, 2008 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Mortgages, Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

The Canadian Government is making it tougher for home buyers to obtain a mortgage and with good reason.  Starting October 15 of this year, the new rules will take effect.

We are all familiar with the  sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the States the past year but while Canada is not even close to this disaster the government still feels it necessary to secure and maintain a strong mortgage and housing market.

The changes include:

  • Cutting the maximum amortization period to 35 years from 40.
  • Requiring a minimum down payment of five per cent, whereas loans for 100 per cent of the price are possible now.
  • Establishing a requirement for a consistent minimum credit score.
  • Introducing new loan-documentation standards.

The people effected are the purchasers with less the 20% downpayment for a property as they are the people that require mortgage insurance with the purchase of real estate.

Mortgage insurance protects lenders (ie Royal Bank, Scotia Bank etc) when a borrower  (the Purchaser) defaults on the loan if the sale of the property doesn’t cover the debt.

I for one am in agreement with this change.  The zero down, 40 year mortgage that was introduced a couple years ago allowed home buyers the ability to purchase a home yet become heavily in debt.  There was a lot of buyers that entered the real estate market in Canada during this time and probably shouldn’t have.

It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction to these changes.

Read the Globe and Mail Article – Ottawa tightens mortgage rules to avoid ‘bubble’

Read the CBC News release – Ottawa tightens mortgage insurance rules

Norm Fishers Saskatoon Blog Article – Canadian Government Says, “No More 40-year Mortgage for You!”

Edmonton Real Estate Blog – No More Zero Down, 40 Year Mortgages

Newfoundland Real Estate housing starts up again

July 10, 2008 · Filed Under Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

Released from CMHC Housing Now publications, the starts press release for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Provincial urban housing starts were up during the first half of this year, despite a slight decrease during the month of June, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). June’s total housing starts dipped seven per cent, with 212 posted within the province compared to 228 a year ago. A total of 172 of the 212 starts were within St. John’s metro versus 180 last June.

Year-to-date, there have been 738 new homes started across the province versus last year’s total of 623 homes, an increase of 18 per cent. A total of 628 of these starts occurred within St. John’s metro, for a year-to-date increase of 20 per cent.

“The demand for newly built homes remains very high within the local housing market and the solid increase in housing starts during the first half of this year was driven by a low level of existing homes for sale,” said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “With a buoyant economy and positive net migration, tight market conditions are expected to continue and strong demand for housing will drive prices higher throughout the second half of 2008,” added Janes.

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