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.
- 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.
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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
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.