The Canadian Real Estate Association released its monthly national home sales figures for January 2019, reporting a slight increase in activity.
Compared to December 2018, January 2019 home sales increased 3.6%. But, on a year-over-year basis, home sales dropped 4%, making it the weakest January since 2015.
“Homebuyers are still adapting to tightened mortgage regulations brought in last year,” says CREA President, Barb Sukkau. “However, their impact on homebuyers varies by location, housing type and price segment. All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® remains your best source for information and guidance in negotiating the purchase or sale of a home during these changing times.”
New listings increased 1% in January 2019 compared to the previous month, led by Vancouver and Hamilton-Burlington. As of the end of January, there were 5.3 months of inventory, which is in line with the long-term average. However, it’s important to remember how different Canadian markets are across the country. For example, Prairie provinces and Newfoundland & Labrador are over supplied, while Ontario and PEI and seller’s markets with low supply.
“Sales, market balance and home price trends are out of synch among major Canadian cities that have the greatest impact on national results,” says Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s clear that housing market conditions remain weaker in the Prairie region and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Notwithstanding the intended consequences, tighter mortgage regulations that took effect in 2018 combined with previous tightening will weigh on economic growth this year.”
The national average price fell 5.5% year-over-year to just under $455,000. Without the significantly more expensive markets, Vancouver and Toronto, in the equation, the average home price is slightly more than $360,000.
Nationally, apartments saw the greatest price gain, increasing 3.3% year-over-year. Townhomes followed with a 1.5% price increase. Two-storey single-family homes barely changed, increasing 0.1%, and one-storey single-family homes fell 1.1%.
In the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Guelph and Niagara Region experienced the highest year-over-year price growth, jumping 7.2% and 7%, respectively. Hamilton-Burlington home prices went up quite a bit as well, rising 5% year-over-year. Oakville-Milton home prices went up 3.9%, while the GTA saw a 2.7% increase. The only area with a price drop was Barrie and District, which fell 2.7%.
Overall, it looks like GGH home price growth is holding steady and sales activity is steady. Buyers are regaining confidence after a topsy-turvy year, so there’s a chance 2019 will be a good year for home sales!