OTTAWA, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Real Estate Association
(CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations in 2013 and
Stronger than expected activity through summer and early autumn was
widely thought to reflect the transient influence of buyers with
pre-approved mortgage financing making purchases before their lower
pre-approved rates expired. A drop-off in sales during the fourth
quarter to date further suggests this was indeed the case.
Although monthly sales volatility has increased in recent years,
particularly surrounding changes to mortgage rules, national activity
on an annual basis has remained remarkably stable. For the sixth
consecutive year, annual sales in 2013 will remain within short reach
of 450,000 units.
Activity and prices have remained slightly stronger than expected in
Western Canada. By comparison, the sales and pricing environment has
generally been softer in Eastern Canada.
"Real estate market trends and outlooks can be very different depending
on the region and community due to many local factors," said Laura
Leyser, CREA President. "For that reason, buyers and sellers should
talk to their REALTOR® about the housing market outlook where they live or might like to."
Sales are projected to reach 458,200 units for the year. This represents
an increase of eight tenths of one per cent from last year.
Sales projections have been revised slightly upward for British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Previously,
British Columbia and Alberta were the only provinces where forecast
annual sales for 2013 were expected to top 2012 levels. Ontario sales
are now also projected to increase marginally.
In 2014, national activity is forecast to climb to 475,000 units (+3.7
per cent). Most of the increase reflects the weak start to 2013, which
is not expected to recur in early 2014.
British Columbia is still forecast to post the strongest sales increase
in 2014 (+8.4 per cent), reflecting the return to of activity to more
normal levels compared to a weak start to the year in 2013. Most other
provinces are forecast to post gains in the range between two and four
Average prices have remained firmer than expected, in large part due to
a rise in the share of national sales among more active and pricier
markets as compared to last year.
The national average home price is projected to rise by 5.2 per cent to
$382,200 in 2013, with similar gains in the Prairie provinces, Ontario,
and Newfoundland and Labrador. Smaller gains are projected in other
"Most housing markets are well balanced, including many large urban
centres," said Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "Housing price
gains are always stronger in places where supply is tight relative to
demand, such as we're seeing in Calgary and in parts of southern
Ontario including the low rise market in Toronto. Prospects for price
appreciation will be limited in parts of Quebec and some areas in the
Maritimes, where competition among sellers has increased."
The national average price is forecast to rise a further 2.5 per cent in
2014 to $391,100. As with sales activity, much of the increase
reflects prices that were still being skewed lower in the first quarter
of 2013 after having softened in late 2012.
Alberta is forecast to post the biggest rise in average price in 2014
(3.4 per cent), with gains in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Newfoundland
and Labrador running just ahead of overall consumer price inflation,
and the average price increase in Ontario running just below it.
About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest
single-industry trade associations, representing more than 100,000 real
estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through more than 100
real estate Boards and Associations.
1 The sales territory covered by the Saskatoon Region Association of
REALTORS® has been expanded. Data revisions were possible back to January 2011.
Part of the 2011 annual percentage increase in sales reflects that
2 Effective January 1, 2012, the Prince Edward Island Real Estate
Association began reporting sales at the point when non-title
conditions had been satisfied in the Agreement of Purchase & Sale.
Previously, sales were reported at the point of closing. As such, data
before and after January 1, 2012 are not directly comparable.