Canada's Housing Bubble

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Canada's hot resale housing market starting to cool Print E-mail

May 18th, 2010 Alyson Fair creastats.crea.ca

Ottawa -- Home sales activity in Canada came up short of the record for the month of April and new listings continued to climb, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Residential sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards numbered 52,042 units in April 2010. This is less than one per cent short of the record for national sales activity during the month of April, which was set in 2007. Compared to April 2009, national activity was up 20 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity slipped 2.6 per cent from the previous month, and now stands 6.8 per cent below the peak reached in December 2009. More than half of the decline in activity over the first four months of 2010 from in British Columbia, while activity in Ontario and Quebec remains at or near record levels.

"The easing trend in national sales activity masks a rising trend in a number of major markets," said CREA President Georges Pahud. "Real estate is local, so buyers and sellers should engage the services of a REALTOR® for knowledge about housing market trends in their market."

Some 99,901 homes were newly listed for sale on Canadian MLS® Systems in April 2010, surpassing the previous record for the month of April set in 2008 by six-tenths of one per cent. A total of 236,397 residential properties were listed for sale on Boards’ MLS® Systems at the end of April 2010, down 1.9 per cent from levels one year earlier.

As for the national average price of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems, that figure rose 12.2 per cent over this time last year. This is a smaller increase compared to those recorded over the past eight months. Bucking the national trend, price gains continue to increase in a number of major markets in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

With last year’s string of downwardly skewed average price values having now mostly passed, and with activity in British Columbia’s lower mainland having settled down, year-over-year national average price comparisons are coming back into line with changes in the national weighted average price.

The weighted average price compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. It climbed 11.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April 2010. Similarly, the residential average price in Canada’s major markets climbed 12.9 per cent year-over-year in April, while the weighted major market average price rose 12.1 per cent.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of months of inventory stood at 4.5 months in April 2010. This is down from levels one year ago (5.6 months) and April 2008 (4.7 months), but up compared to April levels from 2004 through 2007. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, months of inventory stood at 5.3 months in April, the highest level since last May.

"Next month will mark the passage of one year since the national average price rebounded from the recessionary trough to return to the pre-recession peak, so the rise in the national average price is expected to be more subdued next month, " said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. "The national average price could potentially be skewed higher over the next couple of months if buyers of higher priced homes in Ontario and British Columbia move their purchase decision forward to beat the introduction of the HST in July."

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous month. The Canadian Real Estate Association has previously released these separately.

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 neighborhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® is a co-operative marketing system 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 98,000 REALTORS® working through more than 100 real estate Boards and Associations. Further information can be found at www.crea.ca.

 
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