Summer Housing Market Remains Active


Summer Housing Market Remains Active
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Sales were up strongly this past August for all major home types compared to last year. Many households have accounted for the added costs brought on by stricter mortgage lending guidelines and have resumed their search for a home.

Ontario - August 2013 sales and average price up over 2012

Toronto, September 5, 2013 -- Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 7,569 residential transactions through the Toronto Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in August 2013. This represented a 21% increase compared to 6,249 sales in August 2012.
“Sales were up strongly this past August for all major home types compared to last year.

Many households have accounted for the added costs brought on by stricter mortgage lending guidelines and have reactivated their search for a home. These households have found that a diversity of affordable ownership options exist throughout the GTA,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for August 2013 was $503,094 – up by almost 5.5% compared to the average of $477,170 in August 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark was up by 3.7% over the same period.

“Despite an increase in borrowing costs during the spring and summer, an average priced home in the GTA has remained affordable for a household earning an average income. With this in mind, tight market conditions are expected to promote continued price growth through the remainder of 2013,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Ottawa, September 5, 2013 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,219 residential properties in August through the Board’s MLS® system, compared with 1,145 in August 2012, an increase of 6.5%. The five-year average for August sales is 1,202.

“It has been one year since the Canadian Government introduced the new mortgage rules, and although the Ottawa market has been slow-moving since the beginning of the year, this month’s numbers are quite the opposite,” says Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “With both residential and condo units sold up a respectable amount since last year, it breaks the downward cycle. In addition, average sale prices evened out in August, creating a welcomed lull in inflating property prices.”

August’s sales included 272 in the condominium property class, and 947 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties that are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in August in the Ottawa area was $348,519, a slight increase of 0.4%over August 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,494, a decrease of 5.4% over August 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $374,663, an increase of 1.8% over August 2012. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“Inventory on hand has decreased since last month, and is starting to return to more normal levels,” says Lee. “Ottawa continues to be a healthy, balanced market, and as always, a great city to live in. With a strengthening economy and historically low interest rates, Ottawa consumers remain in a very enviable position.” Talk to an Ottawa-area REALTOR® today for help with buying and/or selling a home.

British Columba - Summer housing market remains active in Greater Vancouver

Greater Vancouver, August 2013 - August activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market finished well above last year’s pace and slightly below the 10-year average for the month.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,514 on the MLS® in August 2013. This represents a 52.5% increase compared to the 1,649 sales recorded in August 2012, and a 14.7% decline compared to the 2,946 sales in July 2013.

Last month’s sales were 4.6% below the 10-year sales average for the month.
“We’ve seen a healthy amount of demand in the marketplace this summer compared to the number of homes listed for sale,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said. “The market today is much stronger than we saw last year and is consistent with our long-term averages for this time of year.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,186 in August. This represents a 3.5% increase compared to the 4,044 new listings reported in August 2012 and a 13.8% decline from the 4,854 new listings in July of this year.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,027, which is an 8.8% decrease compared to August 2012 and a 3.6% decline from July 2013.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.7% in Greater Vancouver. This ratio remains consistent with balanced market conditions.

“People entering the market should not confuse stronger sales activity with rising prices. Home prices have been quite stable and consistent for much of this year,” Wyant said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is currently $601,500. This represents a 1.3% decline compared to August 2012 and an increase of 2.3% since the beginning of 2013.

Sales of detached properties reached 1,052 in August 2013, an increase of 69% from the 624 detached sales recorded in August 2012, and a 3.1% increase from the 1,020 units sold in August 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 2.0% from August 2012 to $923,700.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,018 in August 2013, an increase of 40.4% compared to the 725 sales in August 2012, and an increase of 6.6% compared to the 955 sales in August 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 1.1% from August 2012 to $366,100.

Attached property sales in August 2013 totalled 444, an increase of 48% compared to the 300 sales in August 2012, and a 10.2% increase from the 403 attached properties sold in August 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 1.1% between August 2012 and 2013 to $457,000.

Alberta - Summer sales stay strong and seller’s market conditions persist, pushing up prices
Calgary, Sept. 3, 2013 - Residential sales within city limits totaled 2,196 units, an 27.5% increase over 2012 and 8.7% on a year-to-date basis.

The level of transactions was well above long-term trends for the month, mostly due to improved activity in the single-family sector. However, on a year-to-date basis, activity is only slightly higher than expectations.

“The sales have been limited by the need for more resale listings,” said Calgary Real Estate Board® (CREB®) President Becky Walters. “However, August did see more new listings than last year, giving buyers more choice.”

August new listings recorded a year-over-year improvement of 7.4%. While seller’s market conditions persist and total inventory levels keep falling, improvement in new listings helped prevent further tightening in the market despite the sales growth.

Single-family sales totaled 1,517 units in August, a 30% increase over the previous year. Despite strong sales in the past couple of months, year-to-date sales activity has grown by 5.4%, slightly stronger than anticipated.

“Lack of choice, particularly in single-family homes, has limited single-family sales growth,” said Walters. “However, improved new listings in the higher end of the market have created an opportunity for those looking to upgrade.”

Year-to-date condominium apartment sales totaled 2,823 units, a 13.7% increase over the previous year. Unlike the single-family market, new listings are declining, causing the market to become tighter than levels recorded in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the condominium townhouse market, like the single-family market, not only recorded strong sales growth but also saw a rise in new listings, helping ease some tightness in this market. Year-to-date sale and new listings increased at a respective 21.4% and 2.6%.

“Housing demand has been supported by another year of strong migration levels, improving employment and wage growth,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® Chief Economist. “Last year’s mortgage rule changes did not reverse the sales growth in our city, but did redirect demand to more affordable product.”

“While recent increases in lending rates may require purchasers to adjust their expectations, Calgary remains a relatively affordable Canadian city. Our affordability, combined with a positive economic outlook is expected to support demand growth for the remainder of the year.”

Single-family benchmark prices reached $464,700 in August, a 7.4% rise from the previous year and a 0.7% increase over July.

Meanwhile, condominium apartment and townhouse prices totaled a respective $270,600 and $298,500 in August, increasing by more than 7.0% compared to the previous year.
“Price appreciation typically reflects the level of supply and demand in the market,” said Lurie. “Tight market conditions have supported stronger-than-expected price growth in the city, but this price appreciation needs to be taken into context.

“While citywide single-family benchmark prices have risen above unadjusted highs by $13,400, as of August both condominium apartment and townhouse units are a respective $26,400 and $32,300 below the unadjusted highs recorded in 2007.”

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