We certainly saw a recovery in sales activity in 2019 in many areas around the country, particularly in the second half of the year. As anticipated, many home buyers who were initially on the sidelines moved back into the market place starting in the spring. Buyer confidence was buoyed by a strong regional economy and declining contract mortgage rates over the course of the year.
Ontario - Strong recovery in Sales Activity in 2019
Toronto, 07 January 2020 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins reported that December 2019 residential sales reported through TREB's MLS® System by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® were up by 17.4% year-over-year to 4,399. Total sales for the calendar year 2019 amounted to 87,825 – up by 12.6% compared to the decade low 78,015 sales reported in 2018. On an annual basis, 2019 sales were in line with the median annual sales result for the past decade.
"We certainly saw a recovery in sales activity in 2019, particularly in the second half of the year. As anticipated, many home buyers who were initially on the sidelines moved back into the market place starting in the spring. Buyer confidence was buoyed by a strong regional economy and declining contract mortgage rates over the course of the year," said Mr. Collins.
While sales were up in 2019, the number of new listings entered into TREB's MLS® System was down by 2.4% year-over-year. For the past decade, annual new listings have been largely in a holding pattern between 150,000 and 160,000, despite the upward trend in home prices over the same period.
"Over the last ten years, TREB has been drawing attention to the housing supply issue in the GTA. Increasingly, policymakers, research groups of varying scope and other interested parties have acknowledged that the lack of a diverse supply of ownership and rental housing continues to hamper housing affordability in the GTA. Taking 2019 as an example, we experienced a strong sales increase up against a decline in supply. Tighter market conditions translated into accelerating price growth. Expect further acceleration in 2020 if there is no relief on the supply front," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Chief Market Analyst.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 7.3% on a year-over-year basis in December 2019. From June 2019 onward, the annual growth rate in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark accelerated. The average selling price in December 2019 was $837,788 – up almost 12% year-over-year. For the calendar year 2019, the average selling price was $819,319 – up by 4% compared to $787,856 in 2018.
Ottawa - Record-Breaking 2019 Closes Out Decade
Ottawa, January 6, 2020 -- Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 761 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 660 in December 2018, an increase of 15.3%. December’s sales included 534 in the residential property class, up 13.9% from a year ago, and 227 in the condominium property class, an increase of 18.8% from December 2018. The five-year average for December unit sales is 720.
“December’s statistics reflect the same story we’ve seen all year – historically low supply yet higher unit sales than in previous years. Days on market continued to decline, especially in certain pockets of the city, as properties that came on the market were snapped up by prepared buyers,” states Dwight Delahunt, Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2019 President. “Unit sales in the condominium class consistently led the way, offering lower price point options for homebuyers that simply weren’t available in the residential category,” he adds.
The total number of residential and condo units sold throughout 2019 was 18,622, compared with 17,467 in 2018, an increase of 6.6%. Residential property class sales went up by 4.7% with 14,038 properties exchanging hands last year compared to 13,411 in 2018. Condominium property class sales increased by 13% with 4,584 units sold in 2019 versus 4,056 in the previous year.
“2019 was a record-breaker in both the number of sales as well as average prices, with the residential property class reaching $500K in several months during the year. This price growth is warranted due to the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand playing out, with limited supply putting upward pressure on prices. However, even with these increases, Ottawa’s real estate market continues to remain one of the most affordable and sustainable in the country,” Delahunt stresses.
December’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $310,675, an increase of 11.5% from a year ago while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $500,306, an increase of 10.3% from December 2018. Year-end figures show an average sale price of $486,590 for residential-class properties in 2019, an 8.9% increase from 2018 and $304,203 for condominium properties, up 9.3% from last year.*
OREB’s 2020 President, Deborah Burgoyne, forecasts Ottawa will continue to experience limited supply and reasonably increasing average prices this year. “Supply issues will surely persist into 2020, and I don’t expect the inventory will be able to recover in the near future,” she suggests.
“Builders do seem keen on constructing luxury rental units, which is something we haven’t seen much of before. These could potentially add inventory to the residential class, as boomers will have decent options if they are considering entering a different lifestyle than homeownership. However, even if supply increases, high demand has shifted market values upwards in various neighbourhoods and prices are unlikely to go back down – this is our new reality,” concludes Burgoyne.
Alberta - MLS® Sales and Listings Up to Close Out 2019
Edmonton, January 3, 2020 -- Total residential unit sales in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) real estate market for December 2019 increased 9.88% compared to December 2018’s 769 sales and decreased 23.25% from November 2019. The number of new residential listings is up, increasing 5.87% from December 2018. Overall inventory in the Edmonton CMA fell 10.83% from December of last year.
For the month of December, single-family home unit sales are up 9.80%, and condo unit sales increased by 3.21% from the same period of time last year.
All residential average prices are down slightly at $353,657, a 2.29% decrease from December 2018, and are down 0.05% from November 2019. Single-family homes sold for an average of $411,317, a 4.08% year-over-year decrease from December 2018, and a 2.22% decrease from November 2019. Condominiums sold for an average of $226,943, a 7.93% increase year-over-year, prices are similar to the previous month, down 0.51%. Duplex prices dropped 5.73% from December 2018, selling at $325,068, which was a 0.85% increase from the previous month.
“The Edmonton market prices remained stable this month while we saw an increase in year-over-year residential listings and sales,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Jennifer Lucas. “There have been about 75 more sales than we had in December of last year, and single-family home pricing decreased 4.08%, duplexes are down 5.73%, and condos are up 7.93% year-over-year.”
Single-family homes averaged 64 days on the market, a five-day decrease from last year. Condos saw no changes at 77 days on the market while duplexes averaged 75 days on market, a one day decrease from December 2018. Overall, all residential listings averaged 69 days on market, a 4.17% decrease year-over-year, and did not change from the previous month.
British Columbia - Housing Markets Flat in 2019 After Strong Second Half
Vancouver, January 13, 2020 -- The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 77,331 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2019, a decline of 1.5% from the 78,516 units sold in 2018. The annual average MLS® residential price in BC was $700,460, a decline of 1.6% from $711,564 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was $54.2 billion, a 3% decline from 2018.
“Housing markets across the province staged a strong recovery in the second half of 2019,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “This sets up 2020 to be a much more typical year than what markets have experienced recently.”
A total of 5,218 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded across the province in December, up 48.9% from December 2018. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $755,165, an increase of 8.7% from December 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.9 billion, a 61.8% increase year-over-year.
Total active residential listings were down 10.6% to 24,691 units in December. The total inventory of homes for sale has declined more than 10% on a year-over-year basis for two straight months.