Canada home sales, average price decline in April – ET RealEstate

OTTAWA: Canadian home sales, prices and starts all fell in April compared with the previous month, as some of the frenzy of recent months began to unwind, though activity remains strong, data showed on Monday.

Canadian home sales fell 12.5% in April from March, while the average selling price was down 2.9% in April from the previous month, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Housing starts, meanwhile, fell 19.8% in April compared with March on a sharp decline in multiple urban starts, though starts remain well above pre-pandemic levels, separate data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed.

“While housing markets across Canada remain very active, there is growing evidence that some of the extreme imbalances of the last year are beginning to unwind,” said CREA chair Cliff Stevenson in a statement.

Stevenson added that the decline in sales came amid a third wave of COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions, which could somewhat obscure underlying levels of supply and demand.

Canada’s housing market has been on tear in recent months, with home prices escalating sharply amid investor activity and fear of missing out. Even small cities and towns are grappling with red-hot markets usually reserved for major urban centers.

Actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 256% in April from a year earlier, CREA said. Sales and prices in April 2020 were sharply impacted by the first wave of COVID-19 and a strict nation-wide shutdown.

The national average selling price of a Canadian home was C$696,000 ($575,064) in April, falling 2.9% from March, but up 41.9% from a year earlier – again skewed by the “base effect” of the April 2020 decline, the industry group said.

CREA’s Home Price Index, which smoothes average price fluctuations, was up 23.1% on the year and up 2.4% from March.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts fell to 268,631 units in April from a revised 334,759 units in the previous month, the CMHC said. Analysts had expected 280,000 unit starts in April.

“Housing starts remained hot in April, just not at the scorching temperature from March,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, adding starts could continue to decelerate on high building costs and rising interest rates.



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Canadian home sales, prices surge to new record in March – ET RealEstate

OTTAWA: Canada‘s average home selling price soared an eye-watering 31.6% year-over-year in March, hitting a new high as sales also climbed to a new all-time record, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on Thursday.

National home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, as more supply came to the market and was quickly snapped up by hungry buyers. Actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 76.2% from a year ago.

The number of newly listed homes, meanwhile, climbed 7.5% to set a new record in March from February. Supply is up more than 25% in the last two months, the CREA data showed.

“The big rebound in new supply to start the spring market is the relief valve we need the most,” said Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, in a statement.

“It looks like we may finally be rounding the corner on these extremely unbalanced housing market conditions. It’s great news for frustrated buyers,” he added.

But even with a surge of new supply, the average selling price of a home in Canada hit a new record at C$716,828 ($572,821) in March, rising 5.7% from a month earlier.

The largest year-over-year gains continue to be smaller cities and rural parts of Ontario, followed by markets in British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Single-family homes remain the biggest gainers, as people continue to seek out more space amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a long-term bet on working from home.

The industry group said its Home Price Index – which smoothes out average price swings – was up 20.1% from last March and up 3.1% from February.



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