Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | May 20, 2011

Market Softens Nationally

Nationally, the market is beginning to soften slightly, according to new figures released by CREA.

Compared to last month, seasonally adjusted sales data states that activity fell by 4.4% in April.  Much of this decline can be centered regionally- in specific markets where homes were most expensive and active previously: Toronto, Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley.

CREA also attributes this fall to “changes to mortgage regulations that came into effect previously. As anticipated, the changes pulled forward some sales activity that would have otherwise occurred at a later date.”

 Real data (not seasonally adjusted), reports a decline of 14.7%, year-over-year.

“Although down nationally, sales activity in April this year compared to April last year was up in a number of local housing markets,” said Gary Morse, CREA’s President. “Housing market trends often evolve and diverge from national trends due to local factors, so buyers and sellers should consult their local REALTOR® to understand how the housing market is shaping up where they live.”

“Last April, several transitory factors artificially boosted sales.  This included the impending tightening of mortgage rules, speculation about higher interest rates and the looming introduction of the HST in some provinces.  This year, additional measures to tighten mortgage rules were implemented in March and the other transitory factors were absent,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This makes it difficult to compare the two months in order to reliably gauge the impact of the latest round of mortgage rule changes.”

Looking at listings, there was 1.3% more listings in April- a moderate rise, but still far below levels reported in the earlier months of this year.

The market is moving into a more balanced position, with a drop in sales, and an increase in listings. CREA said in a release, “The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 52.5 per cent in April, down from 55.7 in March. “ This balance was seen in many regions across the country, with two-third reporting balanced conditions.

Looking at average prices, nationally, average price for April 2011 was $372,544, which is a rise of 8% year-over-year. 

Also, this was the third month in a row that prices were up by 8% year-over-year.

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