Canadian home sales post third consecutive decline in July


Ottawa, ON, August 15, 2016 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined for a third consecutive month in July 2016.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 1.3% from June to July.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 2.9% below July 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 1.2% from June to July.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 14.3% year-over-year in July.
  • The national average sale price climbed 9.9% in July from one year ago; net of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, it advanced 7% year-over-year.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 1.3 percent month-over-month in July 2016. With similar monthly declines having been posted in May and June, national sales activity in July came in 3.9 percent below the record set in April 2016.

Sales activity was down from the previous month in slightly more than half of all markets in July, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Transactions in these two markets peaked in February of this year, and have since then dropped by 21.5 and 28.8 percent respectively. Accordingly, much of the national sales decline in recent months reflects slowing activity in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

“National sales and price trends continue to be heavily influenced by a handful of places in Ontario and British Columbia and mask significant variations in local housing market trends and conditions across Canada,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales, listing and price trends where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Home sales continued to trend lower while price gains further accelerated in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests that sales are being reined in by a lack of inventory and a further deterioration in affordability. The new 15 per cent property transfer tax on Metro Vancouver home purchases by foreign buyers took effect on August 2nd, so it will take some time before the effect of the new tax on sales and prices can be observed. That said, the new tax will do little in the short term to increase the supply of homes.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down 2.9 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2016, marking the first y-o-y decline since January 2015 and the largest since April 2013. In line with softening activity in the Lower Mainland, y-o-y increases have been losing momentum since February 2016. Sales were down from levels one year earlier in about 60 percent of all Canadian markets, led by Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary and Edmonton.

The number of newly listed homes rose by 1.2 percent in July 2016 compared to June. While new supply climbed in fewer than half of all local markets, increases in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Greater Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton outweighed declines in smaller markets.

With sales down and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 61.6 percent in July 2016 – its second monthly decline following its peak of 65.3 percent in May. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in July, virtually all of which continue to be located in British Columbia, in and around the Greater Toronto Area and across Southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of July 2016. This is unchanged from readings in each of the previous two months and continues to indicate a tight balance between supply and demand for homes.

The number of months of inventory has trended lower since early 2015, reflecting increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. It currently sits near or below two months in a number of local markets in British Columbia and in and around the GTA. Indeed, some regions in the GTA are down to just a couple of weeks of inventory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 14.3 percent y-o-y in July 2016, the biggest gain since November 2006.

For the sixth consecutive month, y-o-y price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index.

Two-storey single family home prices continued to post the biggest y-o-y gain (+15.9 percent), followed by townhouse/row units (+15.3 percent), one-storey single family homes (+14.3 percent), and apartment units (+11.1 percent).

While prices in 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted y-o-y gains in July, increases continue to vary widely among housing markets.

Greater Vancouver (+32.6 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+37.6 percent) posted the largest y-o-y gains by a wide margin, followed by Greater Toronto (+16.7 percent), Victoria (+17.5 percent) and Vancouver Island (+11.6 percent). By contrast, prices were down -4.2 percent and -1.5 percent y-o-y in Calgary and Saskatoon respectively.

Home prices rose modestly in Regina (+2.7 percent y-o-y), Greater Montreal (+1.8 percent y-o-y) and Ottawa (+1.1 percent y-o-y). Greater Moncton recorded its largest y-o-y home price increase (+8.4 percent) among an unbroken string of gains posted every month over the past year.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2016 was $480,743, up 9.9 percent y-o-y.

If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $365,033 and the gain is trimmed to 7.0 percent y-o-y.

Even then, this reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and in British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. The average price for Canada net of sales in British Columbia and Ontario in July 2016 edged down 0.2 percent y-o-y to $310,905. The year-over-year percentage change in the national average price excluding B.C. and Ontario sales has now been in negative territory for 20 consecutive months.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 115,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales decline further in June


Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2016 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined further in June 2016.

Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 0.9% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 5.2% above June 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose 2.2% from May to June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 13.6% year-over-year in June.
  • The national average sale price climbed 11.2% in June from one year ago; net of Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, it advanced 8.4% year-over-year.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 0.9 percent month-over-month in June 2016. Monthly declines in each of the past two months have left sales activity 2.6 percent below the record set in April 2016.

Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all markets in June, with declines in Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Greater Toronto having eclipsed gains in comparatively less active housing markets.

“While national sales activity remains strong, there are still significant differences in housing market trends across Canada,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “While home sales activity and price growth are running strong in B.C. and Ontario, they remain subdued in other markets where homebuyers are cautious and uncertain about the outlook for their local economy,” he added. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“June sales extended trends observed the previous month,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “As was the case in May, the monthly decline in national sales activity was led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and markets in or around the GTA. In keeping with the law of supply and demand, exceptionally low inventory combined with high demand continues to translate into strong price growth in these housing markets, where year-over-year price gains have been running in double-digit territory since late last year.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 5.2 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) in June 2016. Year-over-year increases have been steadily losing momentum since February 2016.

The number of newly listed homes rose by 2.2 percent in June 2016 compared to May. New supply climbed among a broad majority of all local markets, led by Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton, Montreal, Quebec City, and B.C.’s Fraser Valley. The return of activity in Fort McMurray following its evacuation in May also contributed to the national increase in new listings.

With sales down and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 63.3 percent in June 2016, compared to 65.3 percent in May. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in June, virtually all of which are located in British Columbia, in and around Toronto and across Southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2016, which is unchanged from May’s reading and the lowest level in more than six years. The number of months of inventory has been trending lower since early 2015, reflecting increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. It currently sits near or below two months in a number of local markets in British Columbia, the GTA and environs and Southwestern Ontario.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Benchmark price rose by 13.6 percent y-o-y to $564,700 in June 2016, the biggest gain since December 2006.

For the fifth consecutive month, y-o-y price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index.

Two-storey single family home prices continued to post the biggest y-o-y gain (+15.5 percent), followed by one-storey single family homes (+14.0 percent), townhouse/row units (+13.6 percent), and apartment units (+9.8 percent).

While prices in 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted y-o-y gains in June, price growth continues to vary widely among housing markets.

Greater Vancouver (+32.1 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+35.5 percent) posted the largest y-o-y gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+16.0 percent), Victoria (+15.7 percent), and Vancouver Island (+10.6 percent). By contrast, prices were down -4.1 percent and -1.4 percent y-o-y in Calgary and Saskatoon, respectively.

Home prices gained further traction in Regina (+3.6 percent y-o-y), Greater Montreal (+1.9 percent y-o-y), and Ottawa (+1.0 percent y-o-y). Home prices in Greater Moncton recorded their eleventh consecutive year-over-year gain, rising 7.9 percent.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2016 was $503,301, up 11.2 percent y-o-y.

If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $374,760 and the gain is trimmed to 8.4 percent y-o-y.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 115,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Bank of Canada again keeps interest rates on hold


The Bank of Canada announced on July 13th, 2016 that it was keeping its trend-setting target overnight lending rate at 0.5 per cent.

The announcement repeated many of the themes from its announcements and Monetary Policy Reports (MPRs) published in late 2015 and early 2016. Chief among these themes is how the Bank is still counting on the continuation of low interest rates and stronger U.S. economic growth to buoy Canadian exporters amid ongoing weakness in Canadian business investment.

However, the Bank again reduced its annual forecast for Canadian economic growth in light “a weaker outlook for business investment and a lower profile for exports reflecting a downward adjustment to US investment spending”. It also recognized how recent economic growth was reduced by the Alberta wildfires; however, it expects Canadian economic growth will pick up in the third quarter as oil production resumes.

The Bank also recognized that inflation has recently been running slightly higher than it previously expected but noted that inflation “is still in the lower half of the Bank’s inflation-control range”. It expects that the increase in inflation due to past weakness in the Canadian dollar will be temporary and will “dissipate in late 2016”.

While the Bank judges that “the risks to the profile for inflation are roughly balanced”, it expressed concerns about “the implications of the Brexit vote”, which it described as being “highly uncertain and difficult to forecast.” Its implications may ultimately result in the need to lower interest rates. However, lower interest rates would also likely further raise concerns the Bank has about Canadians’ “financial vulnerabilities [which] are elevated and rising, particularly in the greater Vancouver and Toronto areas.”

With all of these factors in mind, there is nothing in the Bank’s latest policy interest rate announcement to suggest that it will begin to raise interest rates until well into 2017 at the earliest.

As of July 13th, 2016, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.74 per cent, up 0.1 from both the previous Bank rate announcement on May 25th and from one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on September 7th, 2016, with the next update to the Monetary Policy Report to be released on October 19th, 2016.

Canadian home sales drop in May following April’s record


Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2016 According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales dropped in May 2016 after having set an all-time monthly record in April.

Highlights:

  • National home sales dropped 2.8% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 9.6% compared to May 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 3.2% from April to May.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 12.5% year-over-year in May.
  • The national average sale price climbed 13.2% in May from one year ago; net of Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, it advanced 9.1% year-over-year.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 2.8 percent month-over-month in May 2016 after having broken all previous monthly sales records in April.

Sales activity dropped in May from the previous month in about 70 percent of all markets, led by those in British Columbia and Ontario where the number of homes listed for sale has fallen to multi-year or all-time lows.

“National sales activity is still strong, even after coming off the record levels of the past couple of months,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “But, there are housing markets where sales continue to reflect a cautious mood among homebuyers and uncertainty about the local economy,” he added. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Many of the housing markets in BC and Ontario that led the monthly decline in national sales are also places where months of inventory have fallen to all-time lows,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests a lack of supply may be starting to rein in sales amid a continuation of strong housing demand.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 9.6 percent year-over-year in May 2016 and stood 15.1 percent above the 10-year average for the month of May.

The number of newly listed homes fell by 3.2 percent in May 2016 compared to April. New supply was down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Edmonton, Montreal and Quebec City.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio edged up to 64.8 percent in May 2016 – the ratio’s tightest reading since October 2009. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in May, virtually all of which are located in British Columbia, in addition to housing markets in and around Toronto and across Southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of May 2016, which is unchanged from April’s reading and the lowest level in more than six years. Months of inventory have been trending lower since early 2015, reflecting increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. It currently sits at or below two months in a growing number of local markets in British Columbia, the GTA and environs and in Southwestern Ontario.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 12.5 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2016, the biggest gain since February 2007.

For the fourth consecutive month, year-over-year price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index.

Two-storey single family home prices continued to post the biggest year-over-year gain (+14.7 percent), followed by one storey single family homes (+12.7 percent), townhouse/row units (+11.6 percent), and apartment units (+8.6 percent).

While 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted year-over-year price gains in May, price growth among housing markets continues to vary widely.

Greater Vancouver (+29.7 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+31.7 percent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+15.0 percent), Victoria (+13.9 percent), and Vancouver Island (+9.5 percent). By contrast, prices fell by -3.9 percent and -2.3 percent in Calgary and Saskatoon respectively.

Year-over-year price growth advanced further into positive territory in Regina (+3.4 percent) and strengthened further in Ottawa (+1.3 percent) and Greater Montreal (+1.9 percent). Home prices in Greater Moncton recorded their tenth consecutive year-over-year gain, rising 8.2 percent from where they stood one year earlier.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because average price is prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2016 was $509,460, up 13.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $375,532 and the year-over-year gain is trimmed to 9.1 percent.

Even then, this reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and in British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. The average price for Canada net of sales in British Columbia and Ontario in May 2016 was down 0.7 percent year-over-year to $310,007.

All figures in this release except price measures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted. Removing normal seasonal variations enables meaningful analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 115,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

 

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast


Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2016 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2016 and 2017.

Canadian resale housing market trends that defined 2015 have intensified. National sales activity and average prices reached new heights in the first half of 2016 amid a growing supply shortage of single family homes in British Columbia and Ontario, particularly in B.C.’s Lower Mainland as well as in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Price gains in these regions stand in contrast to declines in provinces where economic and housing market prospects are closely tied to the outlook for the oil patch and other natural resource industries. Elsewhere, home prices are growing modestly, such as in Ottawa or Montreal.

Activity should begin to rebalance away from B.C. and Ontario, as supply shortages put upward pressure on home prices and constrain transactions even as housing demand remains strong in these provinces and interest rates remain low. Accordingly, sales activity over the second half of the year is expected to ease in B.C., Ontario and on a national basis.

Sales in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador are expected to struggle to regain traction this year, resulting in continuing softness for home prices. In most other provinces, home sales activity and average prices should improve as their economies strengthen and interest rates remain low.

Nationally, sales activity is forecast to rise by 6.1 per cent to 536,400 units in 2016. This would represent a new annual record, but remain below the peak reached in the 2007 after adjusting for population growth. (Figure A)

British Columbia is forecast to post the largest annual increase in activity (+20.0 per cent) this year, while Alberta is expected the record the largest annual decline in activity (-11.5 per cent). Although housing demand remains strong among many housing markets in Ontario, a lack of supply is projected to constrain the increase in sales activity (+5.2 per cent) this year.

Elsewhere, sales are forecast to rise in Manitoba (+7.1 per cent), Quebec (+5.1 per cent) and Nova Scotia (+5.8 per cent), reflecting anticipated economic improvements in these provinces. In New Brunswick, strong home sales toward the end of last year and a weak start to 2016 is projected to result in a small annual decline in activity this year despite an anticipated improvement in its economic prospects.

In Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador, where housing market prospects are tied to the outlook for natural resource prices, annual sales activity is forecast to ease by four per cent and one per cent respectively this year.

Prices have continued to push higher in British Columbia and Ontario and sales in these expensive real estate markets have recently hit record highs. Accordingly, CREA’s forecast for the national average price has been revised upward to $490,700 in 2016, representing an annual increase of 10.8 per cent.

Highlighting how provincial sales activity affects the national average price, British Columbia is the only province where the average home price is forecast to climb faster (+13.5 per cent) than the national average in 2016. Ontario’s average price is forecast to rise roughly in line with the national increase.

Elsewhere, average prices in 2016 are forecast to rise by 1.4 per cent in Manitoba, 1.1 per cent in Quebec, 1.4 per cent in New Brunswick, and 0.2 per cent in Nova Scotia. Reflecting recent housing market strength in Prince Edward Island, its average price is forecast to advance by 4.5 per cent in 2016.

The forecast for Alberta’s average price has been revised upward and is now projected to eke out a small gain (+0.6 per cent) this year as the province’s supply of listings continues to be drawn down by sales activity. By contrast, average price is expected to ease in Saskatchewan (-1.4 per cent) and record a marked decline in Newfoundland & Labrador (-8.0 per cent).

In 2017, national sales are forecast to number 537,500 units, which is virtually unchanged (+0.2 per cent) from the forecast for sales this year. Activity in B.C. and Ontario is anticipated to remain strong but unable to match records set this year due to a combination of deteriorating affordability and a lack of supply.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence should begin to strengthen and begin drawing homebuyers off the sidelines in Alberta and Saskatchewan as oil prices improve and their economic prospects strengthen. This should contribute to a modest rebound in sales activity for these provinces in 2017.

British Columbia is projected to post an annual decline of 2.3 per cent in home sales in 2017, while annual sales in Ontario are forecast to edge back by 0.6 per cent in 2017.

By contrast, sales activity is forecast to continue rising in Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia next year, reflecting further anticipated economic improvement in these provinces. Meanwhile, sales in Prince Edward Island are expected to remain near on par with record levels forecast for 2016, as the province’s economy continues to benefit from a lower Canadian dollar.

The national average price is forecast to remain stable (+0.1 per cent or +$400) to $491,100 next year, with modest price gains near or below inflation in most provinces.

Slower national average price growth in 2017 primarily reflects the effect of a projected slowdown in sales activity in British Columbia and Ontario. In these two provinces, luxury sales activity is anticipated to recede from current record levels, resulting in a decline in their share of total sales activity. An ample supply of listings relative to demand will continue to keep price gains in check in other provinces, although inventories have begun to shrink in provinces where supply had been elevated in recent years.

All figures in this release except price measures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted. Removing normal seasonal variations enables meaningful analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends.

– 30 –

 

About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 115,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through more than 100 real estate Boards and Associations.

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady


The Bank of Canada announced on May 25th, 2016 that it was keeping its trend-setting target overnight lending rate at 0.5 per cent.

The announcement repeated many of themes from its announcements and Monetary Policy Reports (MPRs) published in late 2015 and early 2016, with the overall economic outlook evolving largely as the Bank projected in its April MPR. Chief among these themes is how the Bank is still counting on stronger U.S. economic growth to buoy Canadian exporters amid ongoing weakness in Canadian business investment and hiring intentions.

The Bank indicated it expects that recent wildfires in Alberta will cause the Canadian economy to shrink slightly in the second quarter and then rebound in the third as oil resumes production and reconstruction begins in affected communities.

With inflation largely in line with the Bank’s expectations and the economy continuing its uneven adjustment the Bank of Canada is likely to keep interest rates on hold well into 2017.

As of May 25th, 2016, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from both the previous Bank rate announcement on April 13th and from one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on July 13th, 2016, with the next update to the Monetary Policy Report released on the same day.

Canadian home sales set record in April


Ottawa, ON, May 16, 2016 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales in April 2016 rose to their highest level ever.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose by 3.1% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 10.3% compared to April 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed (-0.2%) from March to April.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 10.3% year-over-year in April.
  • The national average sale price climbed 13.1% in April from one year ago; net of the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver, it was up by 8.7% year-over-year.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems in April 2016 rose by 3.1 percent month-over-month to set a new monthly record.

Sales were up in April compared to the previous month in about 70 percent of all local markets, led by the National Capital Region and Edmonton. Following small declines the previous month, activity held steady in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and edged lower in Greater Vancouver.

“National home sales set new monthly records over the past two months, even as activity in Greater Vancouver and the GTA appears to have topped out,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “With almost three-quarters of all local markets posting sales gains in April, there are plenty of other places where sales are climbing as we head into the busiest time of the year for homebuyers. As always, your local REALTOR® remains your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Supply shortages and tight housing market conditions have become self-reinforcing in the GTA,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The Greater Vancouver Area appears to be heading in that direction too. While significant home price gains may entice some homeowners in these markets to list their home for sale, the issue for many is that the decision to move means they would also be looking to buy while competition for scarce listings is fierce. As a result, many homeowners are deciding to stay put and continue accumulating capital gains. That’s keeping listings off the markets at a time when they are already in short supply.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose 10.3 percent from one year ago to shatter all previous records for the month of April. It also marked the second highest level for transactions for any single month and stood 16.5 percent above the 10-year average for the month of April.

Activity was up from year-ago levels in about 70 percent of all local markets, led by a number of markets in British Columbia as well as the GTA.

Newly listed homes edged slightly lower (-0.2 percent) in April 2016 compared to March. The number of markets where new supply rose and where it fell was fairly evenly split. New listings were up most in Edmonton and on Vancouver Island but fell in the GTA, London & St. Thomas as well as Newfoundland & Labrador.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 64.5 percent in April 2016, the ratio’s tightest reading since October 2009. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in April, virtually all of which are located in British Columbia, the Greater Toronto Area or in Southwestern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.7 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2016, the lowest level in more than six years and a reflection of increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. The number of months of inventory currently sits at or below two months in a growing number of local markets in British Columbia, the GTA and environs and in Southwestern Ontario.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 10.3 percent on a year-over year basis in April 2016, the biggest gain since May 2010.

For the third consecutive month, year-over-year price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index.

Continuing the trend seen in recent months, two-storey single family home prices posted the biggest year-over-year gain (+12.3 percent), followed by townhouse/row units (+9.8 percent), one-storey single family homes (+9.4 percent), and apartment units (+7.9 percent).

While 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted year-over-year price gains in April, price growth among housing markets continues to vary widely.

Greater Vancouver (+25.3 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+25.6 percent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+12.6 percent), Victoria (+12.0 percent) and Vancouver Island (+8.2 percent). By contrast, home prices fell by 3.5 percent and 2.4 percent in Calgary and Saskatoon respectively, which are smaller declines than those posted by these markets in March.

Year-over-year price growth advanced further into positive territory in Regina (+1.9 percent) and edged higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+1.1 percent) and Greater Montreal (+1.3 percent). Home prices in Greater Moncton recorded their ninth consecutive year-over-year gain, rising 6.6 percent from where they stood one year earlier.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because average price is prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in April 2016 was $508,097, up 13.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $369,222 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 8.7 percent.

Even then, this reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. The average price for Canada net of sales in British Columbia and Ontario in April 2016 was down 1.7 percent year-over-year to $301,951.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales set record in March


Ottawa, ON, April 15, 2016 According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales posted their third monthly increase and broke all previous monthly records.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose by 1.5% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 12.2% compared to March 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.4% from February to March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 9.1% year-over-year in March.
  • The national average sale price rose 15.7% on a year-over-year basis in March (net of Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it climbed by 10.4 percent year-over-year).

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 1.5 percent month-over-month to set a new all-time record in March 2016. Though sales edged lower in Greater Vancouver (-0.3%) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (-1.8% m-m), both remain near record highs reached the month before. (Chart A)

Sales in March were up from the previous month in about 60 percent of all local markets, including Victoria, Chilliwack, the Okanagan Region, Edmonton, Calgary, Woodstock-Ingersoll, Kingston, Barrie and Montreal.

“Greater Vancouver and the GTA are heading into the spring home buying season with soaring demand and a shortage of listings,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “Meanwhile, other major urban markets in Canada are well balanced or are amply supplied. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Single family home sales in the Lower Mainland of BC and the GTA set new records for the month of March in the range between a-half and one-million dollars – as did sales above a million dollars,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Meanwhile, sales below a half-a-million dollars, which were not subject to recently tightened mortgage regulations, are being increasingly restrained in these markets by a short supply of listings. If current sales and listings trends persist, price gains may pick up further this spring.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 12.2 percent from one year ago and set a new record for the month of March. It also stood 14.2 percent above the 10-year average for the month.

It surpassed year-ago levels among nearly two-thirds of all local markets, with B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the GTA contributing most to the year-over-year increase in national activity. Sales in a number of other markets in B.C. and Ontario also posted double-digit gains, with Chilliwack sales double what they were one year ago.

The number of newly listed homes fell 1.4 percent in March 2016 compared to February. The national decline was led by the GTA and Hamilton-Burlington.

With sales up on the month and new listings down, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 61.7 percent in March 2016, the ratio’s tightest reading since October 2009. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in fewer than half of all local housing markets in March and was above the range in a nearly equal number of markets, almost all of which are in British Columbia and Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.0 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of March 2016, the lowest level in more than six years and a reflection of increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. The number of months of inventory currently sits at or below two months in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, St. Catharines, Barrie, Brantford, Oakville-Milton, Guelph and Woodstock-Ingersoll.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 9.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in March 2016 – the biggest gain since June 2010. For the second consecutive month, year-over-year price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index. (Chart B)

Two-storey single family home prices posted the biggest year-over-year gain (+10.8 percent), followed by townhouse/row units (+8.6 percent), one-storey single family homes (+8.1 percent), and apartment units (+7.3 percent).

Year-over-year price growth continues to vary widely among housing markets tracked by the index, with 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI having posted year-over-year price gains in March.

Greater Vancouver (+23.2 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+22.1 percent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+11.6 percent) and Victoria (+10.8 percent). Meanwhile, year-over-year price growth on Vancouver Island picked up slightly to 7.1 percent.

By contrast, Calgary home prices were down 3.7 percent from where they stood a year ago, while Saskatoon slipped by 2.7 percent. Year-over-year price growth remained in positive territory (+0.5 percent) in Regina and edged higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+1.2 percent) and Greater Montreal (+1.5 percent). Home prices in Greater Moncton recorded their eighth consecutive year-over-year gain, rising 4.9 percent from where they stood one year earlier.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in March 2016 was $508,567, up 15.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $366,950 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 10.4 percent.

Even then, the gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. The average price for Canada net of sales in British Columbia and Ontario was down one percent year-over-year to $299,591.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales push higher in February


Ottawa, ON, March 15, 2016 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales recorded a second consecutive month-over-month increase in February 2016.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose by 0.8% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 18.7% compared to February 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up by 0.5% from January to February.
  • The Canadian housing market has tightened but remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 8.5% year-over-year in February.
  • The national average sale price rose 16.4% on a year-over-year basis in February; excluding British Columbia and Ontario, it declined by 1.4%.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 0.8 percent in February 2016 compared to January. The monthly increase lifted national sales activity to the highest level since June 2007.

A greater number of local housing markets posted a monthly decline in sales activity than posted a monthly increase; however, the latter accounted for a larger share of national transactions. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Okanagan Region and Fraser Valley made the largest contribution to the monthly increase in national sales activity, offsetting monthly sales declines in Edmonton, Greater Moncton and Montreal.

“Two of Canada’s hottest housing markets look set to stay that way heading into the spring home buying season,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “Meanwhile, other major urban markets elsewhere in Canada are well balanced or have ample supply. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose 18.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in February 2016, standing 12.7 percent above the 10-year average for the month. Activity increased above year-ago levels in February in about three-quarters of all local markets. B.C.’s Lower Mainland, the GTA and Montreal contributed most to the year-over-year increase in national activity.

“The number of single family home sales above one million dollars is rising in Greater Vancouver and the GTA,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Tightened mortgage regulations apply to homes selling above five hundred thousand dollars and below a million dollars. The tighter regulations combined with a short supply of single family homes will restrain transactions below one million dollars. If recent trends continue, home sales above one million dollars will account for a greater share of activity and will further fuel year-over-year average price increases in these markets. Meanwhile, price growth will remain more modest in other housing markets that don’t have an ongoing or developing supply shortage like the kind we’re seeing in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia or around the GTA.”

The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.5 percent in February 2016 compared to January. The rise in new listings in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, York and Mississauga Regions of the GTA and Hamilton-Burlington helped to push the national figure higher. Monthly increases in new listings in these housing markets were offset by monthly declines in Central Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 59.5 percent in February 2016 versus 59.3 percent the previous month. This marks the ratio’s highest reading since November 2009. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in about 45 percent of all local housing markets in January. A little over one third of all local housing markets recorded a ratio above 60 percent; as in recent months, virtually all these housing markets are located in British Columbia and Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of February 2016, the lowest level in nearly six years. The national figure is being pulled lower by increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. The number of months of inventory is currently sitting at or below two months in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the GTA, St. Catharines, Brantford, Oakville-Milton and Guelph.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 8.49 percent on a year-over-year basis in February 2016 – the largest gain since June 2010. Year-over-year price growth accelerated among all property types tracked by the index.

Two-storey single family homes again posted the biggest year-over-year price gain (+10.54 percent), followed by townhouse/row units (+7.41 percent), one-storey single family homes (+7.38 percent), and apartment units (+6.34 percent).

Year-over-year price growth continued to vary widely among housing markets tracked by the index.

Greater Vancouver (+22.18 percent) and the Fraser Valley (19.39 percent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+11.30 percent). Meanwhile, year-over-year price growth in Victoria accelerated to almost 10 percent in February while Vancouver Island home price growth picked up slightly to 5.7 percent. By contrast, home prices retreated by about three-and-a-half percent on a year-over-year basis in Calgary and by about three percent in Saskatoon. Year-over-year price growth climbed out of negative territory in Regina for the first time in close to three years in February. Additionally, home prices edged higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+0.82 percent) and rose modestly in Greater Montreal (+1.67 percent). Price growth also strengthened further in Greater Moncton (+6.97 percent).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2016 was $503,057, up 16.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $355,235 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 8.7 percent.

Even then, the gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. If British Columbia and Ontario are excluded from calculations, the average price slips even lower to $291,510, representing a decline of 1.4 percent year-over-year.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

Canadian home sales rebound in January


Ottawa, ON, February 16, 2016 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rebounded in January 2016 compared to the previous month.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged up by 0.5% from December to January
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 8% compared to January 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes retreated by 4.9% from December to January.
  • The Canadian housing market has tightened but remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 7.7% year-over-year in January.
  • The national average sale price rose 17% on a year-over-year basis in January; however, excluding British Columbia and Ontario, it edged down 0.3%.

The number of homes trading hands via MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations edged up by 0.5 percent in January 2016 compared to December of last year. The monthly increase lifted national sales activity to the highest level since late 2009.

The number of local housing markets was almost equally split between those where sales were up from the month before, and those where sales were down. Monthly sales increases in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Lower Mainland of British Columbia fuelled the national sales increase and offset monthly sales declines in Calgary, Edmonton and the Okanagan Region.

“Single family home buyers in the GTA and Lower Mainland of British Columbia had been expected to bring forward their purchase decisions before tightened mortgage regulations take effect in February 2016,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “If listings in these and nearby markets were not in such short supply, January sales activity would likely have reached even greater heights. Meanwhile, other major urban housing markets have an ample supply of listings, particularly where some home buyers have become increasingly cautious amid an uncertain job market outlook. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“January 2016 picked up where 2015 left off, with single family homes in the GTA and Greater Vancouver in short supply amid strong demand standing in contrast to sidelined home buyers and ample supply in a number of Alberta housing markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Tighter mortgage regulations that take effect in February may shrink the pool of prospective home buyers who qualify for mortgage financing and cause national sales activity to ease in the months ahead.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose eight percent on a year-over-year basis in January 2016 and stood 2.6 percent above the 10-year average for the month of January. Activity was up compared to January 2015 among roughly two-thirds of all local markets. B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the GTA again contributed most to the national increase.

The number of newly listed homes fell by 4.9 percent in January compared to December which more than reversed monthly gains that were posted in the final two months of 2015. Canada’s largest urban housing markets contributed to the monthly decline in new listings, including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary, Edmonton, the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa and Montreal.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 59.2 percent in January due to the drop in the new supply of listings, January’s reading was the ratio’s highest since November 2009. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in about 45 percent of all local housing markets in January. A little over one-third of all local housing markets recorded a ratio above 60 percent; as in recent months, virtually all these housing markets are located in British Columbia and Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2016, down from 5.4 months at the end of last year and the lowest level in nearly six years. The national figure is being pulled lower by increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. This is particularly true in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the GTA and Hamilton-Burlington, where months of inventory are currently sitting at or below two months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 7.73 percent on a year-over-year basis in January – the largest gain in more than five years. Year-over-year price growth accelerated for two-storey single family homes and apartment units.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+9.97 percent), followed by one-storey single family homes (+6.86 percent), townhouse/row units (+6.46 percent) and apartment units (+5.16 percent).

Year-over-year price growth continued to range widely among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+20.56 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+16.94 percent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+10.69 percent).

Home prices in Victoria posted a year-over-year gain of just over seven percent while Vancouver Island home prices rose by five-and-a-half percent.

By contrast, home prices retreated by about three percent on a year-over-year basis in Calgary, by about two percent in Saskatoon, and by less than one percent in Regina. While home prices have begun to decline in Calgary and Saskatoon only fairly recently, they have been trending lower in Regina since early 2014.

Prices crept higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+1.10 percent), rose modestly in Greater Montreal (+1.48 percent) and strengthened further in Greater Moncton (+6.57 percent).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2016 was $470,297, up 17.0 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $338,392 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to eight percent.

Even then, the gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. If British Columbia and Ontario are excluded from calculations, the average price slips even lower to $286,911, representing small a decline of 0.3 percent year-over-year.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca