Market watch - Increased supply and lower demand in February
Most of The Canadian real estate market major areas are showing signs of slow down and favouring buyers. However, Ottawa is making an exception where February has been a strong month, and with year-to-date unit sales 8% higher in both the condo and residential categories.
The OSFI mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30 year amortizations for federally insured mortgages. There is a federal budget and election on the horizon. It will be interesting to see what policy measures are announced to help with homeownership affordability.
Ontario - Tight market conditions.
Toronto, 06 March 2019 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Gurcharan (Garry) Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,025 homes sold through TREB's MLS® System in February 2019. This sales total was down by 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Sales were also down compared to January 2019 following preliminary seasonal adjustment.
"The OSFI mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30 year amortizations for federally insured mortgages. There is a federal budget and election on the horizon. It will be interesting to see what policy measures are announced to help with home ownership affordability," said Mr. Bhaura.
Despite sales being down year-over-year, new listings actually declined by a greater annual rate. This suggests that market conditions became tighter compared to last year. Tighter market conditions continued to support year-over-year average price growth.
Both the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark and the average selling price were up modestly on a year-over-year basis in February 2019. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was up by 2.4% year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 1.6% over the same period. Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher density low-rise home types. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis the average selling price was down compared to January 2019.
"Home sales reported through TREB's MLS® System have a substantial impact on the Canadian economy. A study conducted by Altus for TREB found that, on average, each home sale reported through TREB resulted in $68,000 in spin-off expenditures accruing to the economy. With sales substantially lower than the 2016 record peak over the last two years, we have experienced a hit to the economy in the billions of dollars, in the GTA alone. This hit has also translated into lower government revenues and, if sustained, could impact the employment picture as well," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.
Ottawa - February Buyers Snap Up Limited Inventory
Ottawa, March 5, 2019 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,005 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 978 in February 2018, an increase of 2.8%. February’s sales included 756 in the residential property class, a rise of 3.8% from a year ago, and 249 in the condominium property class, a decrease of 0.4% from February 2018. The five-year average for February sales is 949.
“February has been a strong month, and with year-to-date unit sales 8% higher in both the condo and residential categories, it is looking very favourable for the spring market,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2019 President, Dwight Delahunt.
“Days on market continue to decline, and although inventory has fallen to its lowest level in many years, we are still managing to satisfy demand even with 900 fewer listings than this time last year,” he adds. “If we had more supply, our unit sales would be even greater.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in February in the Ottawa area was $466,540, an increase of 8.6% over February 2018. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $288,354, an increase of 5.6% from this month last year.*
“The Ottawa market is well ahead of inflation in regards to average prices for both condo and residential properties. We are in a comfortable position and remain one of the most affordable markets in the country,” Delahunt points out.
The $300,000 to $449,999 range continued to represent the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for nearly 44% of February’s sales while 26% of residential sales were in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range. Between $175,000 to $274,999 remained the most prevalent price point in the condominium market, accounting for 48% of the units sold.
“If you are thinking about selling, don’t wait – get a jump on the spring market! Now is the time to have a conversation with your REALTOR® who understands the best way to position your home in the market and has the experience to guide you through its complexities,” Delahunt suggests. “This is the type of market you certainly wouldn’t want to navigate without one.”
In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 342 properties since the beginning of the year.
Alberta - Housing market feels the chill as oversupply continues
City of Calgary, March 1, 2019 – The effects of Calgary’s economic climate continue to create weak sales activity and elevated inventory in the city’s housing market. As a result, prices are being affected.
“It is not a surprise that slowing activity in the housing market has persisted into February,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“There has been no substantial change in the economic climate and concerns regarding potential layoffs in the energy sector are weighing on confidence.”
As of February, citywide benchmark prices were $414,400. This is nearly five% below last January, slightly lower than last month’s figures and over 10% below highs recorded in 2014.
While the market remains oversupplied, slower sales and price declines do appear to be influencing sellers. New listings this month eased by eight% compared to last year for a total of 2,211 units. However, the 976 sales this month were not enough to substantially impact inventories levels, which remain elevated at 5,885 units.
BC - Housing market conditions continue to favour home buyers
Metro Vancouver, 5 March 2019 -- housing market saw increased supply from home sellers and below average demand from home buyers in February.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,484 in February 2019, a 32.8% decrease from the 2,207 sales recorded in February 2018, and a 34.5% increase from the 1,103 homes sold in January 2019.
Last month’s sales were 42.5% below the 10-year February sales average.
"For much of the past four years, we’ve been in a sellers’ market. Conditions have shifted over the last 12 months to favour buyers, particularly in the detached home market. This means that home buyers face less competition today, have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decisions." said Phil Moore, REBGV president.
There were 3,892 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in February 2019. This represents a 7.8% decrease compared to the 4,223 homes listed in February 2018 and a 19.7% decrease compared to the 4,848 homes listed in January 2019.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,590, a 48.2% increase compared to February 2018 (7,822) and a 7.2% increase compared to January 2019 (10,808).
For all property types, the sales-to-active-listings ratio for February 2019 is 12.8%.
Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12% mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.
“Homes priced well for today’s market are attracting interest, however, buyers are choosing to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being,” Moore said. “REALTORS® continue to experience more traffic at open houses. We’ll see if this trend leads to increased sales activity during the spring market.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,016,600. This represents a 6.1% decrease over February 2018, a 6.2% decrease over the past six months, and a 0.3% decrease compared to January 2019.
Sales of detached homes in February 2019 reached 448, a 27.9 per decrease cent from the 621 detached sales recorded in February 2018. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,443,100. This represents a 9.7% decrease from February 2018, a 7.6% decrease over the past six months, and a 0.7% decrease compared to January 2019.
Sales of apartment homes reached 759 in February 2019, a 35.9% decrease compared to the 1,185 sales in February 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $660,300. This represents a four% decrease from February 2018, a 5.1% decrease over the past six months, and a 0.3% increase compared to January 2019.
Attached home sales in February 2019 totalled 277, a 30.9% decrease compared to the 401 sales in February 2018. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $789,300. This represents a 3.3% decrease from February 2018, a 6.7% decrease over the past six months, and a 1.4% decrease compared to January 2019.