Canadian home sales still balanced after 7% hike

Printed in REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL on November 17, 2014

The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory, despite a seven per cent rise in year-over-year home sales in October, according to monthly CREA data.

“While the strength of national sales activity is far from being a Canada-wide phenomenon, it extends beyond Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “Sales in a number of B.C. markets have started to recover from weaker demand over the past couple of years. They have also been improving across much of Alberta, where interprovincial migration and international immigration are reaching new heights.”

Indeed, there were 41,733 homes sold in October, up from 39,005 in October the previous year. Seasonally adjusted sales, too, were up 0.7 per cent from the month prior.

Average price also rose from the year-ago period, hiking 7.1 per cent to $419,699, and listings were up 4.1 per cent to 71,410 in October.

Those sales numbers, however, have been helped by still-low mortgage rates, which aren’t likely to rise any time soon.

“Low interest rates continued to support sales in some of Canada’s more active and expensive urban housing markets and factored into the monthly increase for national sales,” said CREA president, Beth Crosbie. “Even so, sales did not increase in many local markets in Canada, which shows that national and local housing market trends can be very different.”

The sales increase was led by the Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Calgary, and Greater Toronto markets, which accounted for nearly 40 per cent of national sales activity.

In British Columbia, sales were up 14.6 per cent year-over-year, while prices rose 6.5 per cent to $575,504 in October.

Sales in Alberta and Ontario were also up, 8.9 per cent to 6,987 and 6.6 per cent to 18,272, respectively. Prices in those provinces also rose, averaging $400,027 in Alberta and $445,109 in Ontario.

In the condo market, sales were also up in Canada’s three largest regions, rising 15.3 per cent in Vancouver, 6.9 per cent in Toronto and 20.5 per cent in Calgary.