OTTAWA, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - According to statistics1 released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national
resale housing activity in August 2011 remained stable for the second
• Sales activity was stable from July to August, but posted another big
year-over-year gain reflecting weakened demand last summer.
• Year-to-date sales pulled ahead of 2010 levels for the first time this
year, and remain in line with the ten-year average.
• The number of newly listed homes was also little changed from July to
• The national housing market stayed firmly entrenched in balanced
• There were more balanced local markets in August than at any other
time on record.
• The national average price posted another year-over-year gain in
August, but has moderated from elevated levels earlier this year.
• Upward skewing of the national average price is diminishing due to
fewer expensive sales and a declining share of national activity in
Vancouver and Toronto.
For a second consecutive month, national home sales activity held steady
in August 2011 when compared to the previous month.
Among major urban centres, Toronto and Ottawa posted a monthly increase
in activity while Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver saw activity decline
"The housing market in Canada remained on a firm footing in August when
compared to volatile financial markets," said Gary Morse, CREA
President. "Through their actions, homebuyers are showing that they
remain confident about the stability of the Canadian housing market,
and recognize that the continuation of low interest rates represents an
excellent opportunity to buy their first home or trade up."
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity came in 15.8 per cent
above national levels reported one year earlier. This was the largest
year-over-year increase since last April, but largely reflects weakened
activity one year ago.
A total of 324,030 homes have traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems so
far this year. While this stands only marginally above levels in the
first eight months of last year, it nevertheless marks the first time
this year that year-to-date activity has pulled ahead of 2010 levels.
As has been the case for much of this year, the year-to-date sales
figure continues to run in line with the ten-year average.
The number of newly listed homes nationally was also little changed from
July to August. This kept the national housing market firmly planted in
balanced territory. The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure
of market balance, stood at 51.6 per cent in August, unchanged compared
Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, 70
per cent of all local markets in Canada were in balanced market
territory in August - a greater percentage than at any other time on
record. There were just 12 buyers' markets in August, which was the
lowest figure so far this year.
The number of months of inventory stood at 6.2 months at the end of
August on a national basis, which is little changed from the end of
July (6.1 months). The national months of inventory figure has been
stable at about six months since April. 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 actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes
sold in August 2011 stood at $349,916. This is 7.7 per cent above its
year-ago level, which marked the low point for 2010.
The national average price has moderated compared to earlier this year,
with sales activity in Vancouver, and more recently in Toronto,
exerting less of an effect on the national average. Their share of
provincial and national sales activity reached unusually elevated
levels earlier this year, but has since receded in line with normal
"Once again, economic and financial market headwinds outside Canada are
keeping interest rates lower for longer," said Gregory Klump, CREA's
Chief Economist. "Those headwinds will likely persist until, and indeed
after, fiscal quagmires in the U.S. and Europe are resolved. In the
meantime, the Bank of Canada will have ample reason to delay raising
interest rates further, which is supportive for the Canadian housing
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 neighbourhoods or account for
price differential between geographic areas.
Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing
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.
1 All figures in this release, unless otherwise noted, are seasonally
adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation. Removing regular seasonal
variations enables analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends
in the data.
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