Home sales bounce off bottom
December 18, 2019
Canadian housing sales in November bounced 20 per cent above the six-year low seen in February of this year and are now above the 10-year average, though still below the peak pace of 2016-17, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Actual sales through the multiple listing service in November were up 11.3 per cent from a year earlier, and increased a startling 55 per cent in Greater Vancouver.
There was an almost even split between the number of local markets where activity rose and those where it declined. Higher sales across much of British Columbia and in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) offset a decline in activity in Alberta’s biggest cities.
“Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “The mortgage stress-test doesn’t help relieve the ongoing shortage of housing in markets where sales have improved, and it continues to hammer housing demand in markets with ample supply."
Overall average prices are expected to increase, but the recovery will be mixed with prices rising in some markets and tending lower or remaining static in others, based on local demand, said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.
The composite benchmark price for a Canadian home in November was $639,300, up 2.5 per cent from a year earlier and 1.9 per cent higher than three months ago.
In Greater Toronto, the benchmark composite price was $823,700, up 1 per cent from a month before and 6.5 per cent higher than in November 2018.
Home price trends have generally been stabilizing in the Prairies in recent months. While that remains the case in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, prices in Regina have again moved lower. By contrast, home price trends have started to recover in B.C.’s Lower Mainland where the benchmark composite price in November was $948,800, up nearly 2 per cent from three months earlier, according to the CREA.