Canada housing sales inched up in August
September 29, 2017
Canadian housing sales inched up 1.3 per cent in August from a month earlier. The small gain broke a string for four months of consistent declines, and still left sales nearly 14 per cent below the record level of March.
There was a roughly even split between the number of markets where sales posted a monthly increase and those where activity declined, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said in its monthly release.
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, but most prices increased from a year earlier.
“Recent interest rate increases will prompt some [buyers] to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to the sidelines,” said CREA president Andrew Peck. “All real estate is local.”
“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.”
Benchmark home prices in urban British Columbia have recovered and are now at new highs, up 9.4 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 14.8 per cent higher in the Fraser Valley.
Annual benchmark home price increases slowed to about 16% in Victoria, and are still running at about 20% elsewhere on Vancouver Island.
While Regina home prices increased 5.6 per cent from year-ago levels, Saskatoon home prices remain modestly lower.
Benchmark home price growth accelerated in Ottawa, up 5.9% from August 2016.
Greater Montreal prices were up 4.6 per cent led by the townhouse sector. Prices were also up 5.1% per cent overall in Greater Moncton, CREA reports.