OTTAWA, May 17 /CNW/ - Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association
(CREA), reveal that national resale housing activity softened in April
when compared to March 2011.
The decline in April sales activity reflects changes to mortgage
regulations that came into effect previously. As anticipated, the
changes pulled forward some sales activity that would have otherwise
occurred at a later date.
Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity was down 4.4 per cent
in April 2011 compared to the previous month. As expected, declines
were largest in some of Canada's more expensive and active markets,
including Toronto, Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley.
Changes to mortgage regulations and other transitory factors also
boosted transactions in April last year at the expense of activity in
subsequent months. This also contributed to a broadly based decline in
sales activity in April 2011 compared to year-ago levels.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 14.7 per cent from
levels reported last April.
"Although down nationally, sales activity in April this year compared to
April last year was up in a number of local housing markets," said Gary
Morse, CREA's President. "Housing market trends often evolve and
diverge from national trends due to local factors, so buyers and
sellers should consult their local REALTOR® to understand how the housing market is shaping up where they live."
"Last April, several transitory factors artificially boosted sales.
This included the impending tightening of mortgage rules, speculation
about higher interest rates and the looming introduction of the HST in
some provinces. This year, additional measures to tighten mortgage
rules were implemented in March and the other transitory factors were
absent," said Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "This makes it
difficult to compare the two months in order to reliably gauge the
impact of the latest round of mortgage rule changes."
The number of newly listed homes edged up 1.3 per cent in April from the
previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, but remained well below
levels in January and February, when impending changes to mortgage
regulations were announced.
With fewer sales and an increase in newly listed homes, the national
housing market moved further into balanced territory in April. The
national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance,
stood at 52.5 per cent in April, down from 55.7 in March.
More than two-thirds of local markets in Canada were balanced in April.
Almost half of the remainder could be classified as sellers' markets
based on a ratio of sales to new listings above 60 per cent.
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 six months at the end of April on a national basis, up from 5.7
months in the previous month.
The national average price for homes sold in April 2011 was $372,544, up
eight per cent from the same month last year. April marked the third
consecutive month in which the national average price was up by eight
per cent from year-ago levels.
The national average price has been skewed in recent months due to
surging multi-million dollar property sales in selected areas of
Greater Vancouver. Demand for these properties moderated in April from
the previous month. A reduction in this source of upward skewing for
the national average price was offset by fewer sales of lower priced
"Changes to mortgage regulations that took effect in April 2011 likely
sidelined a number of first-time homebuyers," said Klump. "By contrast,
higher end home sales in Greater Vancouver and Toronto had their best
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 Associations.
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