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CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Market Forecast

Posted by on Mar 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CREA Updates and Extends Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2018 – 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 2018 and extended the outlook to 2019. Housing market fundamentals remain supportive in many parts of the country. By the same token, housing markets continue to face policy-related headwinds. New mortgage rules announced late last year had been expected to cause homebuyers to advance their purchase decision before the new rules came into effect in January, with the “pull-forward” of sales activity resulting in fewer transactions in the first half of 2018. Evidence suggests the policy response was stronger than expected, with seasonally adjusted national home sales having shattered all previous monthly records last December before dropping sharply in the first two months of 2018. When CREA previously published its forecast in December 2017, housing markets were being affected by provincial policy measures in B.C. and Ontario, and by the stress test on mortgage applications involving less than a 20% down payment. Rising interest rates and the announcement of a stress test on mortgage applications involving more than a 20% down payment set to take effect starting in January 2018 were also factors. Since then, more provincial housing policy measures have been announced to further cool housing markets in B.C.  Additionally, interest rates have risen further and the stress test on mortgage applications involving more than a 20% down payment has come into effect. Interest rates are widely expected to rise further this year. Higher interest rates make mortgage stress tests a more difficult hurdle for homebuyers that need mortgage financing. Some homebuyers will likely to stay on the sidelines amid heightened housing market uncertainty and continue saving a larger down payment before purchasing, resulting in lower sales in the first half of 2018 followed by a modest rebound in the second half of 2018 as housing market uncertainty fades. Taking these factors into account, the national forecast for sales and average price has been lowered. National sales activity is projected to decline by 7.1% to 479,400 units in 2018. The decline reflects weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario, amid heightened housing market uncertainty caused by provincial policy measures, high home prices, ongoing supply shortages and tightening mortgage stress tests as interest rates rise. The national average price is projected to ease to $498,100 this year, down 2.3% from 2017. Only Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to post a decline of that size, while half of all provinces see average price gains. The decline in the national average price reflects fewer transactions in B.C. and Ontario; by the same token, price declines in these provinces reflect fewer sales of higher-priced homes in Vancouver and Toronto. 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. Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive year, home prices are forecast to be little changed in Alberta and decline in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. In the latter two provinces, supply remains elevated in relation to demand. In 2019, national sales are forecast to rebound modestly to 496,500 units but remain below levels recorded in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The rebound reflects an...

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Canadian home sales drop in January

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales drop in January

Ottawa, ON, February 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales fell sharply in January 2018. Highlights: National home sales declined by 14.5% from December 2017 to January 2018. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 2.4% year-over-year (y-o-y) in January. The number of newly listed homes plunged 21.6% from December 2017 to January 2018. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in January was up 7.7% y-o-y. The national average sale price advanced by 2.3% y-o-y. Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems dropped sharply in January after having climbed to the highest monthly level on record in December. Although activity retreated to the lowest monthly level in three years, January sales were on par with the 10-year monthly average. Activity in January was down in three-quarters of all local markets in Canada, including virtually all major urban centres. Many of the larger declines in percentage terms were posted in Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) markets, where sales had picked up late last year following the announcement of tighter mortgage rules coming into effect in January. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 2.4% from January 2017 and stood close the 10-year average for the month of January. Sales came in below year-ago levels in about half of all local markets, led by those in the GGH region. By contrast, sales were up on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Region, Edmonton, Montreal, Greater Moncton and Halifax-Dartmouth. “The piling on of yet more mortgage rule changes that took effect starting New Year’s Day has created homebuyer uncertainty and confusion,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “At the same time, the changes do nothing to address government concerns about home prices that stem from an ongoing supply shortage in major markets like Vancouver and Toronto. Unless these supply shortages are addressed, concerns will persist,” he added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Peck. “The decline in January sales provides clear evidence that the strength in activity late last year reflected a pull-forward of transactions, as rational homebuyers hurried to purchase before mortgage rules changed in 2018,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “At the same time, a large decline in new listings prevented market balance from shifting in favour of homebuyers.” The number of newly listed homes plunged 21.6% in January to reach the lowest level since the spring of 2009. New supply was down in about 85% of all local markets, led by a sizeable decline in the GTA. Large percentage declines were also recorded in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Region, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and St. Thomas, Kingston and Ottawa, closely mirroring the list of markets that saw the largest sales declines in January. With new listings having fallen by more than sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio tightened to 63.6% in January compared to the mid-to-high 50% range to which it held since last May. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively....

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Canadian home sales surge in December

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales surge in December

Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), show national home sales continued to climb in December 2017. Highlights: National home sales rose 4.5% from November to December. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 4.1% year-over-year (y-o-y). The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.3% from November to December. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in December was up 9.1% y-o-y. The national average sale price advanced by 5.7% y-o-y. Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems posted their fifth consecutive monthly increase in December 2017, fully recovering from the slump last summer. Activity in December was up in close to 60% of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Edmonton, Calgary, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Hamilton-Burlington and Winnipeg. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 4.1% from December 2016. While activity remained below year-ago levels in the GTA, the decline there was more than offset by some sizeable y-o-y gains in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. “Monthly momentum for national home sales activity gained strength late last year and further expected economic and job growth will buoy sales activity this year despite slightly higher expected interest rates,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Even so, momentum for home sales differs depending on location and type,” he added. “A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times,” said Peck. “National home sales in December were likely boosted by seasonal adjustment factors and a potential pull-forward of demand before new mortgage regulations came into effect this year,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It will be interesting to see if monthly sales activity continues to rise despite tighter mortgage regulations that took effect on January 1st.” The number of newly listed homes rose 3.3% in December. As in November, the national increase was overwhelmingly due to rising new supply in the GTA. New listings and sales have both trended higher since August. As a result, the sales-to-new listings ratio has remained in the mid-to-high 50% range since then. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the balanced range can vary among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that the current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions. Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, more than two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in December 2017. 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 liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity. There were 4.5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of December 2017. The measure has been moving steadily lower in tandem with the monthly rise in...

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Canadian home sales post solid gain in November

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales post solid gain in November

Ottawa, ON, December 14, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose strongly in November 2017. Highlights: National home sales rose 3.9% from October to November. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016. The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in November 2017. The national average sale price edged up 2.9% y-o-y in November. Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose for the fourth month in a row in November 2017, up 3.9% from October. Led by a 16% jump in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the surge in sales there accounted for more than two-thirds of the national increase. The continuing rebound put November sales activity a little over halfway between the peak recorded in March 2017 and the low reached in July. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity rose 2.6% y-o-y, setting a new record for the month of November. It was the first y-o-y increase since March and was unassisted by the GTA, where activity remains down significantly from year-ago levels. A number of other large markets posted y-o-y activity gains, including Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. “Some home buyers with more than a twenty percent down payment may be fast-tracking their purchase decision in order to beat the tougher mortgage qualifications test coming into effect next year,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Evidence of this is mixed and depends on the housing market. It will be interesting to see whether December sales show further signs of home purchases being fast-tracked. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times.” “National sales momentum remains positive heading toward year-end,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It remains to be seen whether stronger momentum now will mean weaker activity early next year once new mortgage regulations take effect beginning on New Years day.” The number of newly listed homes rose 3.5% in November, which reflected a large increase in new supply across the GTA. With sales and new listings having risen by similar magnitudes, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56.4% in November, remaining little changed from 56.2% reported in October. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the balanced range for the measure can vary among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that the current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions). Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, more than half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in November 2017. 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 liquidate current inventories at...

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CREA Updates National Resale Housing Market Forecast

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CREA Updates National Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, December 14, 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. Housing market trends continue to diverge considerably among regions along four general themes: British Columbia; the Greater Golden Horseshoe; oil and natural resource dependent provinces; and everywhere else. Driven by sales trends in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Ontario home sales have rebounded from the depths reached in the summer, but remain well below the peak reached earlier this year. Recently announced changes to mortgage regulations next year may be motivating some homebuyers to advance their purchase decision before the new rules come into effect in January. Meanwhile, sales activity in British Columbia has improved. Supported by rising activity in the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island, sales for the province are currently running about midway between the record levels of early 2016 and the lows reached in late 2016. In the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, sales activity is still running at lower levels and supply remains ample. As a result, average prices have flattened in Alberta and eased in Saskatchewan as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador, consistent with their elevated number of months of inventory. In Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, sales activity has been steadily improving. Combined with shrinking supply, housing markets in these regions have firmed up and average prices have been making modest gains. CREA’s previous forecast published in September identified further changes to mortgage rules as a key downside risk. Indeed, this risk materialized in October when tighter mortgage regulations that take effect next year were announced. Among other things, the new rules make it tougher for would-be homebuyers with more than a 20% down payment to qualify for a mortgage. These low-ratio mortgages comprise the vast majority of Canadian mortgage originations. Recent research by the Bank of Canada suggests that once they come into effect, tightened mortgage rules will reduce sales activity in housing markets across Canada, particularly in and around Toronto and Vancouver. Additionally, with some homebuyers likely advancing their purchase decision before the new rules come into effect next year, the “pull-forward” of these sales may come at the expense of sales in the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, other potential homebuyers are anticipated to stay on the sidelines as they save up a larger down payment before purchasing and contributing to a modest improvement in sales activity in the second half of 2018. Taking these factors into account has led CREA to narrow its forecast decline in sales activity in 2017 and downwardly revise its sales forecast for 2018. The anticipated decline in Canadian sales activity in the first half of 2018 due to an erosion of housing affordability from tighter mortgage regulations may mitigated by a number of factors. Some buyers may qualify for a smaller mortgage by purchasing a lower priced home, while others may opt to stretch the amortization period when financing their purchase. National sales activity is projected to decline by 4% to 513,900 units in 2017. The majority of the annual decline reflects weakened activity in Ontario, where sales fell sharply over the spring...

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Canadian home sales edge up again in October

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales edge up again in October

Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a modest monthly increase in October but remain below levels recorded one year ago. Highlights: National home sales rose 0.9% from September to October. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.3% below last October’s level. The number of newly listed homes edged back by 0.8% from September to October. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.7% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October 2017. The national average sale price climbed by 5% y-o-y in October. Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.9% in October 2017 on the heels of monthly increases in August and September, but remained almost 11% below the record set in March. (Chart A) Activity in October was up from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Fraser Valley, together with a number of housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.3% in October 2017, extending year-over-year declines to seven consecutive months. Sales were down from year-ago levels in slightly more than half of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the GTA and nearby cities. “Newly introduced mortgage regulations mean that starting January 1st, all home buyers applying for a new mortgage will need to pass a stress test to qualify for mortgage financing,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “This will likely influence some home buyers to purchase before the stress test comes into effect, especially in Canada’s pricier housing markets. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times.” “National sales momentum is positive heading toward year-end,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It remains to be seen whether that momentum can continue once the recently announced stress test takes effect beginning on New Year’s day. The stress test is designed to curtail growth in mortgage debt. If it works as intended, Canadian economic growth may slow by more than currently expected.” The number of newly listed homes eased by 0.8% in October following a jump of more than 5% in September. The national result was influenced most by declines in new supply in London-St. Thomas, Calgary and Greater Vancouver. With sales up slightly and new listings having eased, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 56.7% in October from 55.7% in September. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with a balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, this rule of thumb varies among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions). Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2017. The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between...

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The Canadian Real Estate Association names Michael Bourque as new Chief Executive Officer

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Canadian Real Estate Association names Michael Bourque as new Chief Executive Officer

Ottawa, ON (October 27, 2017) – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) today announced that Michael Bourque has accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective later this year. “On behalf of CREA’s Board of Directors, we are delighted Michael accepted the role of CEO,” said Andrew Peck, CREA President. “The real estate profession is experiencing an era of change as technology, consumer expectations and the regulatory environment evolve.  Michael’s unparalleled experience in association management and public policy position him to hit the ground running and face these challenges head on.” Mr. Bourque is currently the CEO at the Railway Association of Canada. He has 30 years of experience in public policy roles on Parliament Hill, as a senior federal public servant and in government relations for Bayer and the Chemistry Industry Association. “I am excited to begin my work with CREA staff, and the community of REALTORS® and associations,” said Bourque. “CREA’s members are not only business and community leaders, they are expert guides during what is, for many, the most significant financial investment of their lives. I look forward to advocating for a vibrant ecosystem for REALTORS® and homebuyers.” Mr. Bourque will replace Gary Simonsen, who will retire at the end of the year, after 20 years at CREA, most recently as CEO and formerly as COO.   Biography Michael Bourque was the President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), a post he held beginning in 2012. The RAC is a trade association representing over 50 railways and more than 33,000 employees from coast to coast, as well and over 75 supplier companies who build and maintain railway equipment. Michael has served as the Chair of the Transportation Roundtable, and was a Board member of Operation Lifesaver. Michael has some 30 years of experience in public policy roles on Parliament Hill, as a senior federal public servant and in government relations for Bayer and the Chemistry Industry Association. He is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where he studied Public Administration and Economics. 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:...

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Canadian home sales edge up again in September

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales edge up again in September

Ottawa, ON, October 13, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales in September rose modestly from the previous month but remained down from levels recorded one year ago. Highlights: National home sales rose 2.1% from August to September. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11% below last September’s level. The number of newly listed homes rebounded by 4.9% from August to September. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 10.7% year-over-year (y-o-y) in September 2017. The national average sale price climbed by 2.8% y-o-y in September. The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 2.1% in September 2017. The small gain builds on an even smaller increase in August, but leaves national home sales almost 12% below the record set in March. Activity was up between August and September in about half of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), London and St. Thomas, and Barrie. In and around the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, some markets posted monthly sales gains while activity in others remained near recent lows or fell further. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11% in September 2017 compared to the record for the month in 2016. Sales were down from year-ago levels in close to three-quarters of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby housing markets. “National sales appear to be stabilizing,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “While encouraging, it’s too early to tell if this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. The national result continues to be influenced heavily by trends in Toronto and Vancouver but housing market conditions vary widely across Canada. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.” “Further tightening of federal regulations aimed at cooling housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver risks creating collateral damage in markets elsewhere in Canada,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It also jeopardizes Canadian economic growth, which is already showing signs of fading.” The number of newly listed homes rebounded by almost 5% in September following three consecutive monthly declines. The national result was largely the result of a jump in new supply in the GTA. With new listings up by more than sales in September, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 55.7% compared to 57.2% in August. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, this rule of thumb varies among local markets. Considering the degree and duration that current market balance is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions). Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in September 2017. The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it...

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Canadian home sales edge up in August

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales edge up in August

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted a small gain in August 2017. Highlights: National home sales rose 1.3% from July to August. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 9.9% below last August’s level. The number of newly listed homes fell a further 3.9% from July to August. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 11.2% year-over-year (y-o-y) in August 2017. The national average sale price climbed by 3.6% y-o-y in August. The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up by 1.3% in August 2017. The small gain breaks a string of four straight declines, but still leaves activity 13.8% below the record set in March. There was a roughly even split between the number of local markets where sales posted a monthly increase and those where activity declined. The monthly rebound in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (14.3% month-over-month) sales fueled the national increase. For Canada net of the GTA, sales activity was flat. While it was the first monthly increase in activity since Ontario’s Fair Housing Policy was announced, GTA sales activity remained well down compared to the peak reached in March (-36%) and year-ago levels (-32%). Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 9.9% on a y-o-y basis in August 2017. Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and nearby housing markets. “Experience shows that home buyers watch mortgage rates carefully and that recent interest rate increases will prompt some to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to the sidelines,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to.” “Time will tell whether the monthly rise in August sales activity marks the beginning of a rebound, particularly in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region and other higher-priced urban centres,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The picture will become clearer once mortgages that were pre-approved prior to recent interest rate hikes expire.” The number of newly listed homes slid a further 3.9% in August, marking a third consecutive monthly decline. The national result largely reflects a reduction in newly listed homes in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, London-St. Thomas and Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as the Fraser Valley. With sales up and new listings down in August, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 57% compared to 54.1% in July. A national sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40% and 60% is generally consistent with balanced national housing market, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively. That said, the rule of thumb varies according to local market level. Considering the degree and duration to which current market balance in each local market is above or below its long-term average is a more sophisticated way of gauging whether local conditions favour buyers or sellers. (Market balance measures that are within one standard deviation of the long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions). Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with its long-term average, some 70% of all local markets were in balanced market territory in August 2017, up from 63%...

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CREA Lowers National Resale Housing Market Forecast

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CREA Lowers National Resale Housing Market Forecast

Ottawa, ON, September 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. Housing market trends continue to diverge considerably among regions along four general themes: British Columbia; the Greater Golden Horseshoe; oil and natural resource dependent provinces; and everywhere else. In Ontario, housing market sentiment has sidelined more buyers than was previously anticipated following changes to provincial housing policies aimed at reining in housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region announced in April. Activity has begun to show tentative signs of stabilizing among markets in the region, but is down sharply since March amid a rapid shift in housing market balance and increased cautiousness among homebuyers. Because the region is home to a quarter of the Canadian population, changes in sales activity there have a large influence on results for the province and nationally. The downward revision in the national sales forecast primarily reflects the drop in Ontario home sales, which are projected to rebound only partially later this year. Because home prices in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region are well above those in much of the rest of Canada, the decline in Ontario’s share of national sales is also responsible for much of the downward revision in the national average price forecast. In British Columbia, activity appears to be stabilizing somewhere in between the highs of early 2016 and the lows of late 2016 and early 2017. Meanwhile, sales activity is still running at lower levels while supply remains elevated in the natural resource-intensive provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. This has resulted in somewhat softer price trends in the two western provinces and more pronounced price declines in Newfoundland and Labrador. To varying degrees, housing markets in Manitoba, Northern and Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had a breakout year in 2016, with rising sales drawing down previously elevated levels of supply. Inventories in these regions have continued to decline this year. Tightened mortgage rules, higher mortgage default insurance premiums, changes to Ontario housing policies and higher interest rates are factors that will continue to lean against housing market activity over the rest of the year and into 2018. Additional interest rate increases and further tightening of mortgage regulations represent downside risks to the sales forecast, while improving Canadian economic fundamentals represent upside risks. Nationally, sales activity is forecast to decline by 5.3% to 506,900 units in 2017, which represents a drop of more than 20,000 transactions from CREA’s forecast published in June. The decline stems almost entirely from the downward revision to the forecast Ontario home sales. Sales in British Columbia and Ontario are both now projected to decline by about 10% in 2017 compared to all-time records set in 2016. Newfoundland & Labrador is also forecast to see a sizeable decline in sales in 2017 (-8.1%), continuing a softening trend that stretches back nearly a decade. A smaller decline in activity is forecast for Saskatchewan (-4%). Alberta is still projected to post the largest increase in activity in 2017 (+7.4%); however, the increase still leaves sales below the provincial 10-year average. Sales this year are also forecast to rise in Quebec...

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