It’s been a week of updates from the real estate boards of Toronto and Vancouver. Let’s take a look at the current conditions in Canada’s two largest markets, which may be a good indicator of where Canada’s market (and mortgage rates) are headed.
Earlier this week, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released their monthly resale housing figures for the month of September. Ann Hannah, president of TREB, explained that overall sales dropped due to stricter lending guidelines; however competition between buyers remains strong. Historically low months of inventory persist, which is an explanation for the strong price increases the GTA is experiencing. TREB’s Senior Manager of Market analysis Jason Mercer, believes that home price growth will persist throughout 2013.
Sales in the 416 dropped over 25 per cent since September 2011, where condo apartments experienced the biggest drop (29 per cent) followed by detached homes at 27 per cent. The average price increased by over 10.5 per cent, driven by the semi-detached style which increased by 16 per cent and detached which increased 10 per cent.
Sales fell quite a bit in the areas covered by the 905 as well, but not as drastically as the 416. Sales diminished by 17.4 per cent but this drop had the semi-detached (23 per cent drop) and condo apartment styles (22 per cent drop) to blame. As sales dropped average prices rose, but again not as notably as in the 416. Prices increased by 7.7 per cent; biggest movements seen in the detached (8 per cent) and semi-detached (7 per cent) categories.
Overall, the Greater Toronto Area sales dropped just over 20 per cent year over year in September 2012. The condo market lead the drop in sales with a whopping 27 per cent decrease, while average prices increased just over 8.5 per cent and new listings increased moderately by 4 per cent.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) also released their latest figures which show that conditions continue to favor buyers in the Greater Vancouver housing market. Home sale activity is well below historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market. The sales-to-active-listings ratio has been declining since March (when it sat at 19 per cent). Today it lies at 8 per cent, signalling a buyer’s market.
Overall prices in Vancouver remain relatively stable; however there are some notable adjustments in the areas that had the largest price increases over the last few years. Prices have increased by 0.8 per cent over the last year. And the trend continues with a rise in prices and a drop in sales by 32 percent in Greater Vancouver. And new listings have increased just over 14 per cent year over year.
Throughout Canada, the average price of a two-storey home increased 4 per cent since last year while condos saw an increase of 1.8 per cent – Royal LePage’s house price survey. Usually as sales slow, prices too come down. However, cheap credit has helped to mitigate the downward pressure on prices.
RateSupermarket.ca’s Week in Review
This week, we saw downward movement in both fixed and variable mortgage rates. Five-year fixed is back to that record low of 2.89 per cent, followed by three-year fixed at 2.59 per cent. Variable was also in for a dip, with three year lowering to 2.65 per cent, and 5 year variable rates settling to 2.55 per cent.