Canadian housing sales remained relatively steady in October following a series of monthly increases from March onwards, according to the latest markets overview by CREA.
“Steady national activity in October hides how the mortgage stress-test remains a drag on many local housing markets where the balance between supply and demand favours homebuyers in purchase negotiations,” CREA president Jason Stephen stated.
“That said, all real estate is local, so market balance varies depending on location, housing type, and price segment.”
On a year-over-year basis, home purchase activity grew by 12.9% annually, with increases measured in around 80% of all local markets. Meanwhile, the number of new listings shrunk by 1.8% month-over-month in October.
“It’s a full-blown buyer’s market or on the cusp of one in a number of housing markets across the Prairies and in Newfoundland,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump explained.
“Homebuyers there have the upper hand in purchase negotiations and the mortgage stress-test has contributed to that by reducing the number of competing buyers who can qualify for mortgage financing while market conditions are in their favour.”
Nationally, the average home price last month stood at around $525,000, which was 5.8% higher on a year-over-year basis
“The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets,” the CREA report said.
“Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $125,000 from the national average price, trimming it to around $400,000 and reducing the year-over-year gain to 4.7%.”