Figures from the Canadian Real State Association show home sales throughout Canada increased in April for the third consecutive month. Sales rose by 2.3% from March to April and sales activity was up 10% on levels year ago, although this figure is not seasonally adjusted.
The Canadian Real Estate Association home price index increased by 4.97% year on year and their data also shows that the average sales price increased by 9.5% year on year to April but when property hotspots of Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto were excluded it increased by just 3.4%. In two thirds of all local markets, sales were up in April compared to the previous month with figures led by the Greater Toronto area, and the Golden Horseshoe region and Montréal.
According to the article in Propertywire, experts were anticipating this increase, particularly in areas where the winter had been more severe and where homebuyers have been waiting for spring to begin. In addition, the seasonal pattern for home listings and home sales has been thrown into sharper relief in places where listings are in shorter supply compared to demand. This is particularly evident in and around the Toronto area where sellers delayed listing their property until spring was underway. Once listed these properties tend to sell quite quickly but overall sales in southern Ontario are likely to be constrained by the lack of supply of single family homes.
When the figures are broken down they show that sales increased on a year on year basis in approximately 70% of all local markets. Sales activity was led by the Lower mainland of British Columbia, Montréal and greater Toronto. There were 18 local markets that set new records for last month and 15 are in southern Ontario.
The number of new listings remained almost the same, up by just 0.1% in April compared to March. New supply of homes increased in nearly 2/3 of all local markets after seeing a sharp drop the previous month. However new supply declined in Greater Vancouver and Victoria and in the Okanagan region. The number of new listings in Calgary fell by a third compared to the multiyear high seen at the end of 2014.
Nationally the percentage of sales to new listings was 55.3% in April compared to 50.4% three months earlier. The ratio has steadily risen as sales have increased this year. Any ratio between 40% and 60% generally indicates a balanced market. At the end of April there were 5.9 months of inventory nationally, slightly down from 6.1 months the previous month.