Though it seemed like the housing market was heating up last spring, on a national level, activity was a bit less exciting, according to the latest monthly report from the Candian Real Estate Association.
In CREA’s report, Canadian home sales activity in June 2019 increased 0.3% year-over-year, with the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal leading the way. Quebec and Southern Ontario in general showed large sales gains, offsetting declines in places like the Greater Vancouver Area, Calgary, Halifax-Dartmouth, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Sales activity is strong in New Brunswick where I do business, but it's a very different story in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan," says Jason Stephen, CREA's President. "All real estate is local. Nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, who is your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home."
While sales activity remained close to the 10-year average, activity was well below the levels recorded in 2015, 2016, and 2017. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though because those were a few of the most active years in the last decade.
"There's a growing divergence in Canadian housing market trends between eastern and western Canada," says Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "While sales activity in Canada's three westernmost provinces appears to have stopped deteriorating, it will be some time before supply and demand there becomes better balanced and the outlook for home prices improves."
New listings increased 0.8%, ending June 2019 with five months of inventory on a national level. This is the lowest inventory number since January 2018, but is still in line with the long-term average of 5.3 months. It’s important to remember how different housing markets are across the country, for example, the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador are oversupplied, while Ontario is under supplied.
The national average price in June 2019 was just below $505,500, which is 1.7% higher than the same month in 2018. With the most expensive markets, GTA and GVA, out of the equation, the average price is under $400,000.
In the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Guelph and Niagara Region had the greatest year-over-year price gains, increasing 6.8% and 6.7%, respectively. Prices in Hamilton-Burlington went up 5.4%, followed by a 3.6% increase in the GTA. Oakville-Milton prices jumped 3%, and Barrie was the only area to record a decrease in price, falling 2.4%.
Summer can go either way, sometimes it’s busy, sometimes it’s slower. We’ll have to wait to see what activity is like in July to get a better idea of whether or not buyers will continue stepping off the sidelines throughout 2019.