Canada's Condominium Magazine
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reports once again that Canada’s housing market remains stable and balanced. Home sales across the country were up slightly in the month of April on a month-over-month basis. Compared to March, there were 0.6 per cent more sales nationwide; compared to April 2012, however, there were 3.1 per cent fewer sales. The monthly improvement in homes sales was seen in more than half of local markets, led, CREA says, by the GTA, Winnipeg, Victoria and Calgary.
In Toronto, the month-over-month gain was 26 per cent, with sales of 9,811 in April compared to 7,765 in March (Toronto Real Estate Board figures). The steep rise in sales in April compared to March is consistent with long-term trends, as sales tend to rise as the spring season advances. On a year-over-year basis, Toronto’s April sales were off by 2 per cent.
The year-over-year national decline of 3.1 per cent in April was considerably less than the year-over-year decline from March 2012 to March 2013, which was 15.3 per cent. Transactions were down in 90 per cent of markets in March, compared to 60 per cent in April.
CREA president Laura Leyser observed that national sales activity is “stable” and the market “balanced.”
CREA economist Gregory Klump said that national sales have been running “9 to 10 per cent” below levels seen in the first half of 2012. The beginning of the decline in sales coincides with when the government introduced changes to mortgage rules, but activity this April was “on par with” activity last August. Monthly changes, Klump said, have held to “within a range of plus or minus 2 per cent” for nine months. It is only the second time since 1988 that monthly changes in sales have been so narrow for so long, Klump said.
New listings fell 0.9 per cent in April compared to March. With sales creeping up and listings down, the national sales-to-new-listings ratio climbed slightly to 50.4 per cent, a level that has also remained steady for the past nine months. A ratio between 40 and 60 is considered balanced.
The inventory of homes for sale also remains relatively steady: at the end of April there were 6.6 months of inventory, unchanged from the month of March.
As for price, CREA gives $380,588 as the national average price for homes sold in April. This was 1.3 per cent higher than the price in April 2012.