Canadian home sales have fallen for a third consecutive month.
“Home sales continued to trend lower while price gains further accelerated in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests that sales are being reined in by a lack of inventory and a further deterioration in affordability. The new 15 per cent property transfer tax on Metro Vancouver home purchases by foreign buyers took effect on August 2nd, so it will take some time before the effect of the new tax on sales and prices can be observed. That said, the new tax will do little in the short term to increase the supply of homes.”
National home sales fell 1.3% month-over-month in July and 2.9% year-over-year.
The average price jumped 14.3% year-over-year last month. Newly listed homes, meanwhile, increased 1.2% month-over-month.
“National sales and price trends continue to be heavily influenced by a handful of places in Ontario and British Columbia and mask significant variations in local housing market trends and conditions across Canada,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson.
Many cities in those two provinces continue to be considered “seller’s markets.
“With sales down and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 61.6 percent in July 2016 – its second monthly decline following its peak of 65.3 percent in May. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively,” CREA said in a release. “The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in July, virtually all of which continue to be located in British Columbia, in and around the Greater Toronto Area and across Southwestern Ontario.”