January home sales weakest since 2015: CREA

By Staff, with files from The Canadian Press | February 15, 2019 | Last updated on February 15, 2019
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Housing data released today show weaker sales and declining prices in some regions.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says last month was the weakest January for residential sales since 2015, with the number of transactions (not seasonally adjusted) down 4% nationally from last year.

The association says about 23,968 properties were sold through the Multiple Listing Service in January, down from 24,977 a year earlier.

Homebuyers are still adjusting to tighter mortgage rules introduced last year, said CREA president Barb Sukkau, in CREA’s report, and she noted that the impact varies by location, housing type and price segment.

The MLS house price index, which adjusts for differing property types, was up 0.8% year over year, the smallest increase since June 2018.

In the Greater Vancouver area, the price index was down about 4.5% year over year, but up 4.2% in Victoria and up 9.3% from a year ago elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

The index for the Greater Toronto Area was up 2.7% and up 6.3% for the Greater Montreal area, but down in Regina (−3.8%), Saskatoon (−2%), Calgary (−3.9%) and Edmonton (−2.9%).

The national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000, down 5.5% from the same month in 2018—the biggest year-over-year decline for a month since May 2018, CREA says.

Still, more than half of all local markets are in balanced territory, CREA says. That means a close comparison can be made between the sales-to-new-listings ratio and the long-term average—currently 56.7% and 53.5%.

Read the full CREA report.

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Staff, with files from The Canadian Press

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