OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW/ - According to statistics released today by The
Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing
activity held steady in March 2011 compared to February.
Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity in March came in one
tenth of a percentage point above levels for the previous month, with
stable demand in most large urban centres.
With national sales in each of the first three months of 2011 running
close to their five- or ten-year monthly averages, seasonally adjusted
national sales activity in the first quarter of 2011 was up 4.5 per
cent from levels recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, and
reached the highest quarterly level in a year.
Most of the quarterly increase in seasonally adjusted national sales
activity was due to demand in Vancouver and Toronto. Recent changes to
mortgage regulations may have caused a number of sales in some of
Canada's more expensive housing markets to be brought forward into the
first quarter that would have otherwise occurred later in the year.
Sellers looking to tradeup before changes to mortgage regulations took
effect made their move early, resulting in a significant rise in newly
listed homes in January and February of this year. With changes to
mortgage regulations looming in March, seasonally adjusted new
residential listings for the month dropped five per cent
Steady sales activity combined with fewer new listings tightened the
national resale housing market. The national sales-to-new listings
ratio, a measure of the balance between supply and demand, stood at
56.5 per cent in March. This kept the national housing market firmly
entrenched in balanced territory, with March marking the firmest
reading for national market balance in more than a year.
Based on sales-to-new listings ratios, more than half of local markets
in Canada could be considered balanced in March, with two-thirds of the
remaining markets considered to be as sellers' markets.
"The majority of local housing markets across Canada are well balanced,
but not all of them are," said Gary Morse, CREA's President. "Within a
province or local market, the balance between resale housing supply and
demand can vary widely and evolve quickly, so buyers and sellers should
speak with a local REALTOR® to understand housing market trends where
The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it
would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales
activity, and is another measure of the balance between housing supply
and demand. The seasonally adjusted number of months of inventory stood
at 5.6 months at the end of March on a national basis. This was
unchanged from the previous month. Almost half of all local markets saw
the number of months of inventory shrink compared to the previous
Throughout the first quarter of 2011, the national average price was
skewed higher by strong activity in a few pricey areas of Greater
Vancouver. March 2011 was no exception, with an increase of 8.9 per
cent year over year.
"A record number of multi-million dollar property sales in Richmond and
Vancouver West are pushing up average prices for Greater Vancouver,
British Columbia and nationally," stated Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief
Economist. "If Vancouver is excluded from the equation, the national
average price increase is cut by more than half to 4.3 per cent."
"Looking ahead, evidence suggests that the potential rush of sales
activity in March before recent changes to mortgage regulations took
effect was a story that was largely focused in condo sales activity in
Greater Vancouver. This confirms that the expected impact on sales
activity of recent changes to mortgage regulations will likely be minor
over the near term. Interest rates are now widely expected to remain on
hold until at least mid-July, which is supportive for resale housing
demand, market balance and prices," Klump added.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines
both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous month.
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 100,000
REALTORS® working through more than 100 real estate Boards and
Further information can be found at http://www.crea.ca/public/news_stats/media.htm
SOURCE Canadian Real Estate Association
For further information:
Pierre Leduc, Media relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
P: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460