Toronto Spring Home Sales Rise – Spring has sprung an increase in residential sales. The single family market continues to lead the housing growth in both sales activity and pricing, and the condominium market appears to have turned the corner as well. Overall, the Canadian real estate market continues to move in the right direction, with all indicators pointing towards stable growth and a move towards typical levels of activity.
Some areas, such as Toronto, are reporting feverish real estate activity involving multiple offers and unconditional offers, while others such as Edmonton remain calm, orderly and slowly evolving.
April is the start of the real estate season when people who want to buy and sell real estate are most active. There is speculation that mortgage rates will start to rise which makes it more difficult for first time buyers. However, there is an abundance of choice in the market with new properties coming available daily.
Ontario – Tight market drives double-digit price growth
Toronto, April 4, 2012 – Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,690 sales through the Toronto Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system in March 2012. This result was up by almost 8% in comparison to the 8,986 deals reported during the same period in 2011.
“The GTA resale market has not suffered from a lack of willing buyers this year. Buyers have been spurred on by the positive affordability picture brought about by low mortgage rates,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver.
“The challenge has been a lack of inventory. Many listings have attracted multiple interested buyers. Strong competition has led to annual rates of price growth well above the long-term average.” The average selling price in the GTA was $501,614 in March – up by 10% in comparison to March 2011.
“The number of new listings was up last month in comparison to March 2011. However, based on the historic relationship between price and listings, the GTA resale market should be better supplied. If competition between buyers remains as strong as it is right now, we will almost certainly see an average selling price above $500,000 for 2012 as a whole,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
Ottawa, April 4, 2012 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,396 residential properties in March through the Board’s MLS® system, compared with 1,240 in March 2011, an increase of 12.6%. The five-year average for March sales is 1,276.
March’s sales included 277 in the condominium property class, and 1,119 in the residential property class.
“Along with the increasing temperatures and the arrival of spring, March saw a substantial increase in residential sales,” notes Ansel Clarke, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “With interest rates continuing to be low, it is no surprise that the market remains healthy and balanced.”
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $353,684, an increase of 2.1% over March 2011. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,308, an increase of 5.7% over March 2011. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $375,065, a slight decrease of 0.2% over March 2011.
British Columbia – No March madness repeat in 2012
Vancouver, April 13, 2012 – The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through MLS® in BC declined 26.5% to $3.8 billion in March compared to the same month last year. A total of 6,882 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, a decline of 20%. The average MLS® residential price was $545,959 in March, 8.1% lower than in March 2011.
“The spike in consumer demand recorded a year ago was not repeated last month,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “A marked increase in high-end home sales a year ago pushed up unit sales and skewed average prices higher, so it’s no surprise to see fewer home sales and lower average prices in March of this year.”
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 17% to $9.2 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales dipped 12.7% to 16,724 units, while the average MLS® residential price edged back 5% to $552,785 over the same period.
Alberta – Housing sales and prices stable at the end of the first quarter
Edmonton, April 2, 2012 – At the end of the first quarter, the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton reports that the average residential price in the Edmonton area is up 2.2% when compared to a year ago. The all-residential average price, at $335,187 is higher compared to $328,094 in March of last year. Single family detached (SFD) and condominium average prices were stable year-over-year with SFD prices up 0.2% and condos down 0.7%.
“Other markets, such as Toronto, are reporting feverish real estate activity involving multiple offers and unconditional offers but our market is calm, orderly and slowly evolving,” said REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President Doug Singleton. “Listing activity is up when compared to last year but sales and inventory are down which could indicate that market activity will pick up markedly as the summer progresses.”
On MLS®, sales and listings by REALTORS® in March were up, with 3,271 residential listings (up 23.5% from February) and sales of 1,533 (up 24.5% from the previous month). As a result, the inventory of residential properties available for sale was up 14.6% at 6,851 properties. At the current sales level, there are four and half months of inventory available. In total, there are 10,640 properties of all types (commercial, rural and residential) on the Edmonton and Area MLS®.
Market stability is reflected in the sales-to-listing ratio, which is unchanged from month-to-month. The average days-on-market dropped in March by one day from 54 to 53 and residential properties are selling at about the same pace as this time last year on a year-to-date basis (46%).
In March, the average price of a single family detached home was $380,083, up 1.3% from the previous month. The average price of a condominium in March was $231,629, down 1.4% from the February price (last month the price of condos advanced over 8% in a month). Duplex and rowhouse properties sold on average for $319,020; a 4.1% improvement from the previous month.