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West wanes as East rallies

April 26, 2019

In a big change from a few years ago, Western Canada’s housing sales are waning this spring in comparison with eastern provinces, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Greater Vancouver is experiencing a massive year-over-year drop in sales. March housing sales in Greater Vancouver fell to a 33-year low, reports the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Home prices are falling as much as 10 per cent in higher-priced Vancouver neighbourhoods. Prices are also down about 4 per cent in the suburban Fraser Valley and down more modestly in the Okanagan Valley. Vancouver Island is the outlier, with a 6.4 per cent benchmark price increase  this March compared to a year earlier, according to CREA.
A slowing economy and job market, and a high housing inventory continue to put downward pressure on Prairie housing prices. These prices fell nearly 5 per cent in Calgary, 4.4 per cent in Edmonton and 2.7 per cent in Saskatoon from a year earlier.
“The home pricing environment will likely remain weak in these cities until demand and supply become more balanced,” CREA stated.
In comparison, most housing markets within Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe area are experiencing a year-over-year increase in prices—led by Guelph with a 6.6 per cent increase in March, followed by Niagara Region which is up 6 per cent, and Greater Toronto with a 2.6 per cent increase. Oakville-Milton, Barrie and District markets, however, saw price declines averaging 7 per cent, CREA reports.
Ottawa is one of the hottest housing markets in the country. There is a low supply of homes for sale, which has helped drive prices 7.6 per cent higher than in March 2018.
Montreal’s housing market saw a strong 6.3 per cent increase in prices, fuelled by heavy investment and domestic demand, while Greater Moncton prices advanced 2.1 per cent, year-over-year.


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