House sales falling in Canada, latest data shows

Taylor Scott International News

House sales in Canada are falling nationally, seeing the first monthly fall since the beginning of the year, according to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The figures reveal that national home sales fell 1.4% from August to September but actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 10.6% above September 2013 levels. The data also shows that the number of newly listed homes declined by 1.6% from August to September and the national average sale price rose 5.9% on a year on year basis in September. A breakdown of the figures show that activity was down in about 60% of all local housing markets in September, led by monthly declines in Calgary, Edmonton, Central Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and St. Thomas, Windsor-Essex, and Ottawa. Home sales rose on a month on month basis in Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan region, Mississauga, Durham and York regions of the Greater Toronto Area, Sherbrooke, and the Northern region of Nova Scotia. ‘Affordably priced single family homes are in short supply in some of Canada’s hottest housing markets, which contributed to the monthly decline in national sales activity in September,’ said CREA president Beth Crosbie. ‘That said, there are other markets with ample supply but sellers there are holding firm on price. There is a lot of variation in housing market trends depending on the type of housing, neighbourhood and price segment,’ she added. September sales were up from year ago levels in about 80% of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan region, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Montreal. The increase reflects activity in September 2013 that was handicapped by the occurrence of five Sundays, since that day is the lowest volume trading day for home sales. Sales activity for the year to date in September was 5% above where it stood in the first nine months of 2013, and remains broadly in line with the 10 year average for the period. The number of newly listed homes declined by 1.6% in September compared to August. New supply was down in just over half of all local markets, led by Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa. 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 5.9 months of inventory nationally at the end of September 2014, up slightly from 5.8 months in August and slightly below the six months reported in May, June and July. Price growth has been steady at about five to 5.5% since the beginning of the year and year on year price growth accelerated slightly for two storey single family homes and slowed further for apartment units. Price gains for one storey single family homes and townhouse/row units were little changed compared to August. Two storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year on year price gains with… Continue reading →

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