CREA Report Analyses Real Estate Performance in October of 2012

The Canadian Real Estate Association, or CREA for short, just released its figures on home sales for this past October. The numbers show little change in average price and sales activity nationwide. MLS® System sales only decreased by 0.1 percent from this past September, but the sales numbers were less than those found in the first half of 2012. But not all of the markets were created equal. Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver saw October 2012 sales improve over sales from the previous month. Still, the sales numbers were lower than in the first six months of this year.

Looking at a year over year comparison, sales this October were 0.8 percent lower than in October of 2011. But, in 2/3 of the markets surveyed, sales were higher this October than last. Calgary was the strongest, while Greater Montreal, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto saw their sales lower in October 2012 than the same month last year. Alberta and Saskatchewan markets were picking up speed and taking the sales lead nationwide. If you are considering investing in property, it’s best to see what the local trend is because of the wide sales variation seen.

George Klump, Chief Economist with CREA noted that sales activity remains slow but stable since the revamp of the mortgage rules in July, though you will find varying opinions on just how slow is slow. Nationally, sales for this past October were roughly the same as in October of 2011. Looking at sales activity for the first ten months of the year, the numbers are well within the comfortable 10 year average. This indicates a more stable, and sustainable pace.

New listings for October 2012 were down by 3.8 percent, with almost 2/3 of markets reporting decreases. Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are tweaking the national numbers somewhat. The decrease in new listings also created a sales to new listings ratio of 50.9 percent, which had been 49 percent in September. The ratio varied between 40 and 60 percents in the nations markets, with most markets considered balanced in October.

At the end of October there were 6.5 months of inventory in the MLS® system, almost unchanged from the 6.4 months seen this past September. The average price for a home in October, across all market types, came in at $361,516, a 0.02 percent increase, roughly $80 over the average price in the same month of 2011.

That national average price is also influenced by sales volumes, particularly in Greater Vancouver which saw fewer sales this October and Greater Toronto which had a sales increase. Take these two markets out of the picture and October of 2012 can be credited with a 2.5 percent increase in sales price, since more than 70 percent of surveyed markets showed increases.

Prices in most markets showed steady but slow growth in October of this year. Exceptions were Calgary, with a strong increase in sales and price and Greater Vancouver which saw a decline on both counts. The Home Price Index for Calgary increased 6.8 percent, the highest on the survey. Greater Toronto came in second at 5.1 percent, then Montreal at 1.8 percent and the Fraser Valley at 1.5 percent. Greater Vancouver saw a 0.8 percent decrease in their HPI comparing this October to last.

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