OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - According to statistics released today by
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales
activity edged up on a month-over-month basis in January 2013. National
sales activity has held fairly steady after gearing down last August in
the wake of tightened mortgage lending rules.
National home sales rose 1.3% from December to January.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 5.2% under levels in
The number of newly listed homes rose 1.6% from December to January.
The Canadian housing market remains firmly in balanced territory.
National average sale price was up 2% year-over-year in January.
The MLS® HPI rose 3.1% in January, the smallest gain since April 2011.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of real
estate Boards and Associations and other cooperative listing systems in
Canada edged up 1.3 per cent on a month-over-month basis in January
2013. This marks the fifth month in a row that national sales activity
has shown little change from levels in the previous month.
Home sales picked up in about half of all local markets in January from
the previous month, including some of Canada's most active. Greater
Toronto and Greater Vancouver posted monthly sales increases of 5.6 per
cent and 4.7 per cent respectively, while sales in Edmonton climbed by
nearly 10 per cent on the month. Activity gains there were partially
offset by softer sales in Ottawa, the Fraser Valley, Montreal, Regina,
London and St. Thomas, and Calgary.
"There is little new to report about national sales activity, which
continues to hold fairly steady at the lower levels first reached when
mortgage rules were tightened in mid-2012," said CREA President Wayne
Moen. "That said, things are becoming more interesting among local
markets, with improving sales in Vancouver and Toronto likely to come
as something of a surprise to some. As always, all real estate is
local, so buyers and sellers should speak to their REALTOR® to
understand how the housing market is shaping up where they live or are
considering to live."
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 5.2 per cent below
levels reported in January 2012. About two-thirds of local markets
posted year-over-year declines in sales activity in January. Notable
exceptions include Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Windsor-Essex, and
"Year-over-year declines in activity have received attention lately, and
understandably so since they're more exciting compared to the fairly
steady month-over-month trend for national sales following changes made
last year to mortgage regulations and lending guidelines," said Gregory
Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "If national sales activity remains
stable near the levels we've been seeing since last August, then
year-over-year comparisons will begin fading after the crucial spring
buying season. Until then, the focus may remain on how sales were
stronger in the first half of last year compared to lower but stable
national activity since then."
The number of newly listed homes rose 1.6 per cent month-over-month in
January, their first monthly increase since last September.
New listings rose in a number of Canada's most active markets, led by
Greater Toronto. The monthly increase there reversed a decline of
similar magnitude one month earlier. New listings also rose in Greater
Vancouver, Montreal, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island, which
also marked a reversal in a declining trend for new listings in the
final months of 2012.
With sales and new listings both having edged higher, the national
sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at 50.3 per cent in
January compared to 50.4 per cent in December. Its reading has held
fairly steady around this level for the past six months. Based on a
sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, about
two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of
balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of
months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of
sales activity, and it too was little changed in January.
Nationally, there were 6.6 months of inventory at the end of January
2013, down slightly from 6.7 months reported at the end of December.
The number of months of inventory nationally has held between 6.5 and
6.7 months since August last year.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes
sold in January 2013 was $354,754, representing an increase of two per
cent from January 2012. There were fewer sales compared to year-ago
levels in relatively pricey Greater Vancouver, which continues to exert
a strong gravitational pull on the national average sale price.
Excluding Greater Vancouver from the national average price calculation
yields a year-over-year increase of 3.3 per cent.
Unlike average price, the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) is not
affected by changes in the mix of sales, so it provides the best gauge
of Canadian home price trends.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 3.1 per cent on a year-over-year
basis in January. This marks the ninth time in as many months that the
year-over-year gain shrank and the slowest rate of increase since April
Year-over-year price gains decelerated for one-storey single family
homes (+4.4 per cent) and two-storey single family homes (+3.6 per
cent). By contrast, year-over-year growth held steady for apartment
units (+1.2 per cent), and picked up in the townhouse/row segment (+2.2
The MLS® HPI rose fastest in Regina (+8.8% year-over-year), although the
increase was the smallest since December 2011. Price growth also
moderated in Greater Toronto (+3.8% year-over-year) and in Greater
Montreal (+2.6% year-over-year).
By contrast, the MLS® HPI saw year-on-year growth accelerate in Calgary
(+8.0%) and the Fraser Valley (+0.7%). In Greater Vancouver, the MLS®
HPI posted a 2.8 per cent year-over-year decline in January.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines
both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in
establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in
centres comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods or account for
price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information
contained in this report includes all housing types.
MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada's real
estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest
single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000
REALTORS® working through more than 100 real estate Boards and
Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.
SOURCE: Canadian Real Estate Association
For further information:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460