The Canadian Real Estate Association released its monthly home sales results for October 2018, reporting a loss of momentum from September.
From September to October, national home sales fell 1.6%. On a year-over-year basis, home activity dropped 3.7%, but remains in line with the 10-year average. While sales in the Greater Toronto Area increased, the drop in Greater Vancouver sales more than offset the gain.
“National sales activity lost momentum in October,” says Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In part, this reflects waning activity among some urban centers in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region and the absence of an offsetting rise in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even so, the balance between sales and listings in these regions points to stable prices or modest gains. By contrast, the balance between sales and listings for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland indicates a weak pricing environment for homeowners who are looking to sell.”
New listings lost momentum with sales activity, dropping 1.1% month-to-month. There’s still 5.3 months of inventory though, which is line with the long term average, and a healthy amount of supply. That said, it’s important to remember that inventory levels vary from market to market across Canada. For example, in the Prairie provinces and in Newfoundland & Labrador, the inventory is above the long-term average.
“This year’s new mortgage stress test has lowered how much mortgage homebuyers can qualify for across Canada, but its effect on sales has varied somewhat depending on location, housing type and price range,” says CREA President Barb Sukkau. “All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times.”
The national average price fell 1.5% year-over-year to just under $496,800. Without Greater Vancouver and the GTA in the equation, the average drops significantly to just below $383,000.
Nationally, apartment units had the greatest price gain in October 2018, jumping 7.4%. Townhomes went up 3.9%, one-storey singles increased 0.6%, and two-storey singles remained steady.
In the GGH, every region saw a year-over-year price gain, except for Barrie and District where prices fell 0.9%. Home prices in Guelph soared 9.3%, and Hamilton-Burlington followed with a 6.8% increase. The Niagara Region saw price gains of 6.3%, the GTA increased 2.6%, and Oakville-Milton went up 2.2%.
According to the CREA, the price gains in the GGH will persist through December, showing year-over-year growth compared to December 2017.