Hamilton hammered as home sales fall
February 23, 2018
Housing sales fell across Canada in January compared to a month earlier as new stress-test mortgage rules kicked in, but some areas were hit worse than others.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said that home sales declined by 14.5 per cent from December 2017 to January 2018. But sales in the Hamilton area plunged 32 per cent, according to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.
There were 877 sales in January compared in that area, compared to 1,284 in December.
Year over year, the trend was similar in the CREA figures. Average sales across the country were down 14.1 per cent in January compared to the same month last year. Hamilton-Burlington, however, saw a 30 per cent decrease.
Many of the larger declines in percentage terms were posted in Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) markets, CREA noted, where sales had picked up late last year following the announcement of tighter mortgage rules coming into effect in January.
Sales came in below year-ago levels in about half of all Canadian markets, led by those in the GGH region.
By contrast, sales were up on a year-over-year 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.