Market Watch - Softer Summer Real Estate Season Began.

The market continues to grapple with the sharp decline in affordability caused by tough new mortgage qualification rules, combined with the softening of the housing demand as a result of the summer season slow down, has created more balanced market conditions in many regions.

It is important for sellers to be prepared to negotiate more and expect to be a bit more flexible with their property prices.


Ontario -  A Softer Summer Real Estate Season began. 

Toronto, August 3, 2018 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced strong growth in the number of home sales and the average selling price reported by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® in July 2018.

"Home sales result in substantial spin-off benefits to the economy, so the positive results over the last two months are encouraging. However, no one will argue that housing supply remains an issue. The new provincial government and candidates for the upcoming municipal elections need to concentrate on policies focused on enhancing the supply of housing and reducing the upfront tax burden represented by land transfer taxes, province-wide and additionally in the City of Toronto," said Mr. Bhaura.

Residential sales reported through TREB's MLS® System for July 2018 amounted to 6,961 – up 18.6% compared to July 2017. Over the same period, the average selling price was up by 4.8% to $782,129, including a moderate increase for detached home types. New listings in July 2018 were down by 1.8% year-over-year.

Preliminary seasonal adjustment pointed to strong month-over-month increases of 6.6% and 3.1% respectively for sales and average price. Seasonally adjusted sales were at the highest level for 2018 and the seasonally adjusted average price reached the highest level since May 2017.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for July 2018 was down slightly compared to July 2017. However, the annual growth rate looks to be trending toward positive territory in the near future.

"We have certainly experienced an increase in demand for ownership housing so far this summer. It appears that some people who initially moved to the sidelines due to the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan and changes to mortgage lending guidelines have re-entered the market. Home buyers in the GTA recognize that ownership housing is a quality long-term investment," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.


Ottawa, August 3, 2018 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,614 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,524 in July 2017, an increase of 5.9%. The five-year average for July sales is 1,501. July’s sales included 1,238 in the residential property class, an increase of 3.6% from July 2017 and 376 in the condominium property class, an increase of 14.3 percent from a year ago.

“Ottawa’s condo market continues to positively impact overall residential sales trends with year-to-date condo unit sales up 16.5 percent from this time last year,” states Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “As well, our overall inventory levels in both the residential and condo market are improving which will help ease pressure on prices. Units available are currently down 16 percent down from July 2017 rather than the 24 percent we were down at the beginning of the year.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $441,206, an increase of five% over July 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $280,526, an increase of 5.3% from July 2017.*

“We are noticing a surge in unit sales in the rural areas, particularly the west end,” notes Shaw. “This is not only driven by availability but likely includes other attractive aspects in these well-established communities such as reasonable commute times, convenient shopping options, and great schools and recreational facilities which aren’t overtaxed.”

Between $175,000 to $274,999 was July’s most active price point in the condominium market, accounting for almost 49% of the units sold. While the $300,000 to $449,999 range remained the most robust price point in the residential market, accounting for 45% of home sales. In addition, the $500,000 to $750,000 price range represented almost one in five residential home sales.

“Ottawa’s healthy real estate market is a reflection of its strong economy which is consistently firing on all four cylinders due to a secure employment base,” reflects Shaw. “It remains a competitive market, and multiple offers (when priced right) are still the norm in some neighbourhoods. Buyers and sellers alike require a REALTOR® to pave the way through the complexities of the market.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1611 properties since the beginning of the year.


Alberta - All residential average unit prices decrease, unit sales increase month over month

Edmonton, August 2, 2018 --In the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the average all residential selling price decreased 2.07% to $370,046 compared to June 2018 and decreased 3.63% compared to July 2017. Single-family home average prices decreased 1.44% to $436,825 month over month and decreased 2.25% year over year. Duplex/rowhouse average prices decreased by 0.71% month over month and decreased 0.48% year over year. Condominium average prices increased by 3.35% compared to June 2018 and decreased 6.22% compared to July 2017.

Compared to June 2018, single-family home sales decreased by 9.01% and compared to July 2017, decreased by 3.29%. Duplex/rowhouses increased 4.17% compared to June 2017 and decreased 3.31% relative to July 2017. Condominium sales increased 2.65% month over month and 3.40% year over year.

“The overall real estate market is softening as the summer selling season begins to slow,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Darcy Torhjelm. “Average prices are decreasing and that may continue in the rest of the year due to the high inventory levels. It is important for sellers to be prepared to negotiate more and expect to be a bit more flexible with their property prices.”

Inventory increased slightly in July, up 0.52% compared to July 2018 and up 12.62% compared to June 2017. New listings decreased 13.02% month over month and increased 4.04% year over year. In total, there was 1,603 MLS® System listed properties sold in July 2018, a decrease of 4.47% month over month and a decrease of 0.99% year over year.

Average days on market increased for most categories, indicating more of a buyers’ market for the Edmonton CMA. The average for single-family homes increased to 52 days for July 2018, two days longer than June 2018 and four days longer than July 2017. For duplex/rowhouses, the average days on market was 61, increasing from 57 in June 2018 and 55 in July 2017. Condominiums required one less day in July 2018, decreasing to 66 days on market from 67 in June 2018 and 60 days in July 2017.


British Columbia - Summer Home Sales Slow to a Simmer

Vancouver, BC – August 13, 2018. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,055 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) across the province in July, a 23.9% decrease from the same month last year. 

The average MLS® residential price in BC was $695,990, down 0.4% from July 2017. Total sales dollar volume was $4.9 billion, a 24.2% decline from July 2017. 

“The BC housing market continues to grapple with the sharp decline in affordability caused by tough new mortgage qualification rules,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, less frenetic housing demand has created more balanced market conditions in many regions, leading to fewer multiple offers and more choice for consumers.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 18.9% to $37 billion, compared with the same period in 2017. Residential unit sales decreased 20.6% to 50,926 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 2.1% to $725,639.


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