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Canadian home sales hold steady in November

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was unchanged on a month-over-month basis in November 2014.

Highlights:

* National home sales were unchanged from October to November.
* Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above November 2013 levels.
* The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4% from October to November.
* The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in November.
* The national average sale price rose 5.7% on a year-over-year basis in November.

Comment: Not sure how the market is balanced when prices keep rising, sales keep rising and listings keep falling. That is the very definition of a sellers’ market.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations was unchanged in November 2014 compared to October. As a result, activity remains much improved compared to the quiet start to the year.

November sales strengthened in half of all local housing markets, with monthly increases in Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, and Windsor-Essex tempered by a monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area.

Comment: Say what now? GTA sales rose 2.6% in November. Sales rose in the 416 and in the 905. Not sure why CREA says the opposite. Check the stats for yourself.

Canadian home sales
“The Canadian housing market remains a story about how sales and prices are still running strong in some areas while others are seeing subdued levels of activity with slower price gains or modest price declines,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “All real estate is local and your Realtor remains your best source for information about how the housing market is shaping up where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

“The effect of lower oil prices on Canada’s housing markets is something of a wildcard at the moment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s not clear how far oil prices may drop or for how long they’ll stay down. How that plays out may affect the outlook for interest rates, job growth, consumer confidence, and sentiment about making major purchases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in November stood 2.7% above levels reported in the same month last year. November sales were up from year-ago levels in about half all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, and Greater Toronto.

Comment: Didn’t they just say there was a “monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area” a few paragraphs up?

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity for the year-to-date in November was 5% above levels in the first 11 months of 2013. It was also slightly above (+2.4%) the 10-year average for year-to-date sales.

The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4% in November compared to October. Led by Greater Toronto, new supply was down in just over half of all local markets.

Comment: Toronto listings dropped 5.3% last month. And yet sales STILL rose 2.6%. I don’t understand how sales can rise every month while listings drop every month. More and more of a shrinking pool is selling.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56% in November. While this is marginally tighter compared to the previous three months in which it averaged 55.7%, the broader trend for the ratio indicates that it has remained balanced and largely stable for the past four months.

Comment: It is up to 74.2% in the GTA.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60% is usually consistent with a balanced housing market, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in almost 60% of all local markets in November. About 60% of the remaining markets posted ratios above this range, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern 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 5.8 months of inventory nationally at the end of November 2014. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory has been stable for the past four months and remains well within balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS HPI rose by 5.19% on a year-over-year basis in November. Price gains have held steady between five and 5-1/2% since the beginning of the year.

Year-over-year price growth decelerated among all property types tracked by the index in November compared to October.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.79%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.63%). Price growth was comparatively more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20%) and apartment units (+3.18%).

Price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months, Calgary (+8.53%), Greater Toronto (+7.73%), and Greater Vancouver (+5.69%) continue to post the biggest year-over-year increases. By contrast, prices in Regina declined by 3.36%.

In other markets from West to East, prices were up between 1.6 and 2.8% on a year-over-year basis in the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, by less than 1% in Saskatoon and Ottawa, flat in Greater Montreal, and down by less than one% in Greater Moncton.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in November 2014 was $413,649, up 5.7% from the same month last year.

The national average home price continues to be raised considerably by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $331,743 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5%.

Comment: What about excluding the declining prices in Regina? What does that do to the price change?

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto real estate agent with Century 21 Regal Realty.
He did not write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who
are interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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Summary
Canadian home sales hold steady in November
Article Name
Canadian home sales hold steady in November
Description
The number of home sales processed through the MLS Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations was unchanged in November 2014 compared to October. As a result, activity remains much improved compared to the quiet start to the year.

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