According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014.
- National home sales rose 0.8% from May to June.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11.2% above June 2013 levels.
- The number of newly listed homes was little changed from May to June.
- The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
- The national average sale price rose 6.9% on a year-over-year basis in June.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.4% year-over-year in June.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 0.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for sales since March 2010.
Sales rose in about half of all local housing markets in June, led by gains in Greater Vancouver where activity hit its highest level in more than three years, and Montreal where activity is now 10 per cent above post-recession lows reached earlier this year.
“Sales have improved compared to their slower start earlier this year,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That said, there are still important differences in how housing markets are faring depending on location, housing type and price point. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your local REALTOR® is your best source of information on all the factors driving the market where you currently live or might like to in the future.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June stood 11.2 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. June sales were up from year-ago levels in three out of every four local markets, led by Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington.
The number of newly listed homes was little changed in June, having eased by 0.1 per cent compared to May. In May, new listings reached their highest level since April 2010. On an actual (not seasonally adjusted) basis, new listings set a record for the month of June.
“At least some of the recent burst in new supply reflects the slow start to the year, when a harsh winter caused many sellers to delay listing their home in many parts of the country,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In markets with tight supply and strong demand, the strength of sales in recent months reflects how many properties were snapped up once they finally hit the market. Because the impact of deferred listings and sales has likely run its course, activity over the second half of the year may not be able to maintain the kind of pace we’ve seen over the past couple of months.”
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 per cent in June, up slightly from 53.2 per cent in May but still well entrenched within the range between 40 and 60 per cent that marks balanced market territory. Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in June, with a fairly even split among the remainder between those in buyer’s market and seller’s market territory.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The number of months of inventory has firmed since the beginning of 2014. There were 6.0 months of inventory nationally at the end of June 2014. This was unchanged from May but half a month below where it stood at the beginning of the year. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory continues to suggest that housing markets remain generally well-balanced.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up by 5.40 per cent year-over-year in June following slower price gains in April and May. Price growth picked up in all Benchmark categories tracked by the index. (Chart B)
Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.19 per cent), followed closely by one-storey single family homes (+5.35 per cent) and townhouse/row units (+5.07 per cent). Price growth for apartment units remained comparatively more modest (+3.85 per cent).
Year-over-year price growth varied among local housing markets tracked by the index, with the biggest gains having been posted by Calgary (+10.74 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.77 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+4.37 per cent). (Table 1)
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2014 was $413,215, up 6.9 per cent from the same month last year.
The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $336,164 while the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5.2 per cent.