Ron Tomblin
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Market Watch - Blossoming Real Estate Market Bolsters May Resales

After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment toward ownership housing. Households continue to see ownership housing as a quality long-term investment as population growth from immigration remains strong and the regional economy continues to create jobs across a diversity of sectors.

Ontario - Blossoming Real Estate Market Bolsters May Resales

Toronto, 06 June 2019 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,989 transactions through TREB's MLS® System in May 2019. While this result represented a substantial increase of 18.9% over the 15-year low in May 2018, it should be noted that the result was still below the average for the month of May sales for the previous ten years, which stands at almost 10,300.

The year-over-year uptick in sales experienced so far in the second quarter of 2019 reflects spring polling results from Ipsos (undertaken on behalf of TREB) suggesting that the share of likely home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area has edged upwards since the fall.

"After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment toward ownership housing. Households continue to see ownership housing in the GTA as a quality long-term investment as population growth from immigration remains strong and the regional economy continues to create jobs across a diversity of sectors. However, sales activity continues to be below the longer-term norm, as potential home buyers come to terms with the OSFI mortgage stress test and the fact that listings continue to be constrained relative to sales," said Mr. Bhaura.

The number of new listings entered into TREB's MLS® System in May 2019 was up only slightly compared to May 2018, increasing by 0.8% to 19,386. Year-over-year growth in new listings was far outstripped by year-over-year growth in sales. This means that market conditions continued to tighten in favour of sellers. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark price was up by 3.1% on a year-over-basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a similar 3.6% to $838,540. Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment and townhouse market segments.

"We are experiencing annual rates of price growth that are largely sustainable right now in the GTA – above the rate of inflation, but in the single digits. If, however, we continue to see growth in sales outstripped growth in new listings, price growth will accelerate. This potential outcome underpins calls from TREB and other housing industry stakeholders to address roadblocks preventing a more sustainable and diverse supply of housing reaching the market. Many households are not comfortable listing their homes for sale because they feel that there are no housing options available to better meet their needs," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Chief Market Analyst.

Ottawa, June 5, 2019 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,423 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,271 in May 2018, an increase of 6.7%. May’s sales included 1,869 in the residential property class, an increase of 4.6% from a year ago, and 554 in the condominium property class, an increase of 14.2% from May 2018. The five-year average for May unit sales is 2,167.

“Despite the continuous free fall of inventory levels, we still have a higher sales volume than this time last year,” observes Dwight Delahunt, Ottawa Real Estate Board’s President. “Well-priced and positioned properties are turning over quickly with residential days on market declining 17% on average from 34 to 28 days from last May and a whopping 33% decrease for the condominium market from 46 days to 31 days.”

“Condo sales are bolstering the resale market, up 14% from a year ago, and are providing an excellent opportunity for those Buyers wishing to enter the market or who are ready to downsize,” he adds.

May’s figures show the average sale price for a condominium-class property was $297,731, an increase of 5.8% from last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $493,691, a rise of 6.4% from a year ago. Year to date numbers show a 6.6% and 7.9% increase in average prices for residential and condominiums respectively.*

“Home prices are steadily increasing at a reasonable rate, and the fact that they are not spiking confirms that our market is healthy and sustainable,” Delahunt points out. “Although we hear about extreme multiple offer situations, the reality is, 62% of homes are still selling at or below asking.”

“Certainly, there are 15% more listings selling above asking compared to this time last year, but these are restricted to particular pockets of the city. There are still many opportunities for those who want to find an affordable property. This is where the knowledge and experience of a REALTOR® will serve you well. They understand Ottawa’s neighbourhoods, market trends, and property values and can efficaciously guide you in your home sale or search,” Delahunt advises.

The $350,000 to $499,999 price range was the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 42% of May’s transactions while 28% of residential sales were in the $500,000 to $749,999 range. The most prevalent price point in the condominium market, which increased to the $225,000-$349,999 price range two months ago, accounts for 57% of the units sold.

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,043 properties since the beginning of the year.


Alberta - Residential Sales, Listings, and Year-to-Date Inventory Increase from April 2019

Edmonton, June 4, 2019 -- Residential sales, new listings and year-to-date inventory have all experienced a month-over-month increase from April 2019. Total residential sales are up 17.64% from last month, and sales have also seen a year-over-year increase of 4.04% from May 2018. Sales of single-family homes have increased month over month by 16.37% and 2.64% year over year. Condo sales have increased by 15.69% since last month but have decreased by 0.42% since May of 2018. Duplex/rowhouse sales have increased by 16.22% month to month and 14.36% year over year. All residential listings have increased 7.22% from last month but have decreased by 12.17% from May of 2018.

“Month over month increases are typical at this time of year when more people are looking to sell and buy homes,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Michael Brodrick. “This year is no different, but we’ve experienced an increase in overall residential sales from May of last year.”

The average price of all residential homes has seen a month-over-month increase but has decreased since May of 2018. Since April, the average price of a single-family home rose from $427,657 to $431,484 (an increase of 0.89%). The average price of condo units rose from $228,933 to $237,802 (an increase of 3.87%), and the average unit price of duplex/rowhouses rose from $330,795 to $334,704 (an increase of 1.18%). The average sales price of all residential listings rose from $365,129 to $368,514 (an increase of 0.93%) since April, but that price has decreased by 2.99% (from $379,864 to $368,514) since May of 2018.

Average days on market for all residential listings remains unchanged from last month at 60 days; however, that number has risen from 52 days in May of 2018. The average days on market for single-family homes has decreased from 55 to 53 days since last month but has experienced a year-over-year increase from 45 days in May of 2018. Month over month, the average number of days on market for condo units has decreased from 71 to 69 days, but that number has increased from 65 days in May of last year. Days on market for duplex/rowhouse units increased month over month from 67 to 69 days and year over year from 57 days in May of 2018.

Britsh Columbia - Affordability Continues to Weigh on Housing Demand

Vancouver, May 14, 2019 -- The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,652 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, a decline of 18.9% from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $685,304, a decline of 6.2% from April 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $4.6 billion, a 23.9% decline from the same month last year.

“BC home sales were essentially unchanged from March on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. “Prospective home buyers continue to grapple with the decline in their purchasing power caused by federal government changes to mortgage policy.”

Total MLS® residential active listings increased by 33.6% to 38,672 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 28.4% to 17.2% over the same period.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 29.8% to $13.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2018. Residential unit sales decreased by 24.5% to 20,479 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 7% to $680,671.

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