The latest report from the Canadian Real Estate Association shows that sales in Canada rose by 4.1% from February to March. The average sales price also increased but these figures are skewed by growth in Toronto and Vancouver.
According to the report in Propertywire, the national average sale price increased by 9.4% year on year to March, but when Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver were excluded these figures increased by just 2.4%. Sales of property in March rose compared to the previous month in nearly 2/3 of all local markets. The greatest increases were seen in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Edmonton and Calgary. However, in spite of figures rebounding from February to March, Edmonton and Calgary sales were below the 10 year average for this month. Low mortgage rates remain good news for buyers, but experts point out that there are really only two hotspots for prices and home sales in Canada at the moment and these are in the Greater Toronto Area and in Greater Vancouver.
Price increases in these two markets are currently being fuelled due to a shortage of single family homes whereas in other areas across Canada the demand for homes is generally well balanced. Year on year price gains for these two property hotspots have so far exceeded gains in other markets during the first quarter of this year. While the levels of actual activity reported in March were at 9.5% above levels reported in March last year and were slightly above the 10 year average, they still failed to lift the activity recorded during the first quarter of this year to above its 10 year average. In most local housing markets sales were below their 10 year average during the first quarter of 2015.
The number of new listings in March increased by 1.8% compared to February and the national sales to new listing ratios was 53.9% last month, up from 52.7% the previous month and from 50.4% in January. Nationally at the end of March there were 6.1 months of inventory compared to 6.3 months in February and 6.5 months in January. Even though inventory levels have tightened over the past few months they are still firmly in balanced territory.
The largest price gains year on year were for single-family homes at 5.83%, while two-story single-family homes achieved growth of 6.66%. Town homes prices increased by 4.55%, while prices for one story single family homes rose by 4.41%. Prices of apartments rose by just 2.36%.