Ottawa, ON, January 15, 2016 - According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales edged lower in December 2015 compared to the previous month, but held above year-ago levels.
- National home sales edged back by 0.6% from November to December.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 10% compared to December 2014.
- The number of newly listed homes rose 2.2% from November to December.
- The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 7.3% year-over-year in December.
- The national average sale price rose 12% on a year-over-year basis in December; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 5.4%.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 7.27 percent on a year-over-year basis in December – the largest gain in over five years. Year-over-year price growth accelerated for single family homes and townhouse/row units but slowed for apartment units.
Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+9.15 percent), followed by one-storey single family homes (+6.63 percent), townhouse/row units (+6.12 percent) and apartment units (+4.96 percent).
Year-over-year price growth continued to range widely among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+18.87 percent) and the Fraser Valley (14.35 percent) posted the largest gains, followed closely by Greater Toronto (+10.01 percent). By comparison, Victoria and Vancouver Island prices posted year-over-year gains in the range from six to eight percent.
By contrast, prices retreated by about two percent on a year-over-year basis in Calgary and Saskatoon and by nearly four percent in Regina. While the home price declines in Calgary and Saskatoon are a fairly recent trend, prices in Regina have been trending lower since early 2014.
Prices crept higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+0.62 percent), rose modestly in Greater Montreal (+1.81 percent) and outstripped overall consumer price inflation in Greater Moncton (+3.88 percent).
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in December 2015 was $454,342, up 12.0 percent on a year-over-year basis.
The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $336,994 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 5.4 percent. Even then, the gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. If British Columbia and Ontario are excluded from calculations, the average price slips even lower to $294,363, representing a year-over-year decline of 2.2 percent.