Canadian Home Sales Drop in June

Canadian home sales drop again in June

Ottawa, ON, July 17, 2017 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Canadian home sales cooled further in June 2017.


  • National home sales dropped 6.7% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June stood 11.4% below last June’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 1.5% from May to June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 15.8% year-over-year (y-o-y) in June 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged up just 0.4% y-o-y in June.

The number of homes sold via Canadian MLS® Systems fell 6.7% in June 2017, the largest monthly decline since June 2010. With sales having also declined in each of the two previous months, activity in June came in 14.1% below the record set in March.

Canadian homes sales in June were down from the previous month in 70% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Monthly declines were also posted in all surrounding Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 11.4% on a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis, much of which reflected a significant drop in GTA sales activity. Nonetheless, half of all local housing markets recorded y-o-y sales declines. By contrast, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St. Thomas, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax-Dartmouth topped the list of Canadian cities where home sales surpassed year-ago levels.

“Canadian economic and job growth have been improving, which is good news for housing demand,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “However, it also means that interest rates have begun to rise, which may impact homebuyer confidence – particularly in pricier markets like Toronto and Vancouver where recent housing policies had already moved potential buyers to the sidelines. In lower priced markets, the effect of higher interest rates on housing affordability will be relatively muted. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about Canadian home sales and listings where you live or might like to.”

“Changes to Ontario housing policy made in late April have clearly prompted many homebuyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region to take a step back and assess how the housing market absorbs the changes,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The recent increase in interest rates could reinforce a lack of urgency to purchase or, alternatively, move some buyers off the sidelines before their pre-approved mortgage rate expires. In the meantime, some move-up buyers who previously purchased a home before first selling may become more motivated to reduce their asking price rather than carry two mortgages.”

The number of newly listed homes slid 1.5% in June, led by a sizeable pullback in the GTA compared to record levels in April and May. A number of other markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe also saw a pullback in new supply.

With sales down by considerably more than new listings in June, the national sales-to-new listings ratio moved further into balanced market territory at 52.8%. The ratio had been in the high-60% range just three months earlier.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.
The ratio was above 60% in fewer than half of all local housing markets in June. The majority of markets with a ratio above 60% are located in British Columbia and Ontario, but a number of Greater Golden Horseshoe markets have downshifted into balanced territory. The ratio fell below 40% in the GTA and Barrie.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.1 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2017 – up a full month from where the measure stood in March and the highest level since January 2015.

Months of inventory in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region are up from the all-time lows reached prior to the Ontario government housing policy changes announced in April 2017. For the region as a whole, there were 2.5 months of inventory in June 2017. While this remains below the long term average of just over three months, it is up sharply from an all-time low of just 0.8 months set in February and March.

Across markets in the region, months of inventory ranged from 1.5 months to 3 months in June 2017. As such, housing markets within the Greater Golden Horseshoe remain the tightest in Canada together with those on Vancouver Island and B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 15.8% y-o-y in June 2017, representing a further deceleration in y-o-y gains since April.

Price gains diminished in all benchmark home categories, led by single family homes. Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y gains in June (+20.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+17.4%), two-storey single family homes (+15.4%), and one-storey single family homes (+12.3%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 11 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by region.

Benchmark home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have been recovering after having dipped in the second half of last year. While y-o-y price gains continue to slow (Greater Vancouver: +7.9% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +13.9% y-o-y), the trend appears poised to accelerate later this summer as price declines last year fade further in the rear view mirror.

Meanwhile, y-o-y benchmark home price increases were running just below 20% in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Benchmark price gains slowed on a y-o-y basis in Greater Toronto, Mississauga, Guelph, and particularly in Oakville-Milton but remain well above year-ago levels (Greater Toronto: +25.3% y-o-y; Guelph: +25.4% y-o-y; Oakville-Milton: +17.4% y-o-y).

Calgary benchmark prices remained slightly positive on a y-o-y basis in June (+0.6%), while Regina and Saskatoon home prices came in below year-ago levels (-0.7% and -3.1%, respectively).

Benchmark home prices rose by more than the rate of overall consumer price inflation in Ottawa (+5.2% overall, led by a 6.2% increase in both one and two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+4.2% overall, led by a 6.9% increase in prices for townhouse/row units) and Greater Moncton (+4.7% overall, led by a 10.6% increase in prices for townhouse/row units).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average prices are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2017 was $504,458, up just 0.4% from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations trims more than $100,000 from the national average price ($394,660).

originally published by the Canadian Real Estate Association, with contributions from and

Foreign Buyers a Small Percent of Toronto Real Estate

Foreign Buyers in Toronto

TORONTO – After implementation of the provincial Foreign Buyers tax, the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate hike could prolong the cooling-off period that the Toronto housing market is experiencing, a prominent economist said Wednesday.

Foreign Buyers

But the recent drop in the number of home sales in the Greater Toronto Area – down 37.3 per cent in June from the year prior – is not expected to last long-term, said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist with CIBC World Markets.

A similar slowdown occurred in the Vancouver area – another hot housing market – following the
implementation of British Columbia’s foreign buyer tax a year ago, but Tal said the measure hasn’t deterred non-resident buyers and the market is rebounding.

“We haven’t seen a significant decline in foreign investment activity in Vancouver following the tax,” he said.

Interest Rates

While Toronto should follow a similar trajectory, there are two other factors now at play, Tal said.
“We also see interest rates going up and the regulators are talking about introducing more measures to slow down the market,” he said. “That’s why it’s possible the slowdown in Toronto will be more durable than the slowdown in Vancouver.”

Tougher Mortgage Rules

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has proposed tighter rules that include requiring a
qualifying stress test for all uninsured mortgages. While Tal said he supports the changes, he cautioned it might be prudent to reconsider the timing of their
implementation, which is currently set for the fall.

That advice doesn’t apply to Bank of Canada’s decision Wednesday to raise its key interest rate to 0.75 per
cent from 0.5 per cent, he added, considering the many different economic agendas at play.
The Ontario government released new data Wednesday that show foreign buyers were involved in seven per
cent of residential real estate transactions in Toronto and nine per cent in York Region, a suburb north of the
city, between April 24 and May 26, the month following the introduction of the foreign buyer tax.
READ MORE: Toronto-area home sales drop in May after province introduces foreign buyers’ tax
Tal said the figures show foreign homebuyers are having “non-trivial” impact, pushing up home prices in
Toronto and surrounding areas, but added Canadian demand remains more dominant.

The foreign buyer tax was one of 16 housing affordability measures the provincial government announced in
April, including expanding rent control, allowing Toronto to impose a tax on vacant homes and using surplus

portions of this article originally published by global news

Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch June 2017

More Moderate Price Growth in June

July 6, 2017 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,974 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2017 – down by 37.3 per cent in comparison to June 2016.

The number of new residential listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System, at 19,614, was up by 15.9 per cent compared to June 2016. While this annual rate of growth was sizeable, it represented a more moderate annual rate of growth compared to May 2017, when new listings were up by 48.9 per cent year-over-year.

“We are in a period of flux that often follows major government policy announcements pointed at the housing market. On one hand, consumer survey results tell us many households are very interested in purchasing a home in the near future, but some of these would-be buyers seem to be temporarily on the sidelines waiting to see the real impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. On the other hand, we have existing home owners who are listing their home because they feel price growth may have peaked. The end result has been a better supplied market and a moderating annual pace of price growth,” said Mr. Syrianos.

Annual growth rates for MLS® HPI benchmark prices have moderated over the past two months, but remain strong. The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was up by 25.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in June. June’s average selling price for all home types combined for the TREB market area was $793,915, representing a 6.3 per cent increase compared to the same month in 2016. A better supplied market has certainly been a key factor influencing the moderation in price growth.

“Recent Ipsos survey results suggest that home buying activity in the GTA will remain strong moving forward. The year-over-year dip in home sales we have experienced over the last two months seem to be the result of would-be buyers putting their decision to purchase temporarily on hold while they monitor the impact of the Fair Housing Plan. On the supply side of the market, it certainly looks as though buyers will benefit from more choice in the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016,”said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

information courtesy of the Toronto Real Estate Board