OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate
Association (CREA), national resale housing activity retreated in
January 2012 from the strong finish reported for December 2011.
Home sales were down 4.5% from December to January.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 4.0% above levels in
January 2011, and stood even with the 5 and 10 year averages for
The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.4% from December to
With sales down by more than new listings, the national market shifted
further into balanced territory.
The national average home price was up less than 2% year-over-year in
January, ranking it among the smallest increases of the past year.
Sales activity recorded through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards
and Associations in Canada fell 4.5 per cent from December 2011 to
January 2012. This marks the first monthly decline in national activity
since August 2011 and the biggest monthly decline since July 2010. The
monthly decline reversed a string of monthly increases over the closing
months of last year, and returned national activity to where it stood
at the end of the third quarter of 2011.
"The national housing market is stabilizing and remains well balanced,"
said Gary Morse, CREA's President. "That said, forecasts for economic
and job growth going forward vary widely for different parts of the
country, suggesting a possible continuation of a softening trend in
some markets, as well as the potential that demand will pick up based
on strong fundamentals in others. All real estate is local, so talk to
your local REALTOR® to understand how price trends in your
neighbourhood are shaping up."
Activity was down in over half of all local markets in January from the
previous month. Led by declines in Greater Toronto and Montréal, demand
also softened in a number of other major urban centres including the
Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Greater
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity was up four per
cent from year-ago levels in January, the smallest year-over-year
increase since last May. As was the case in a number of months last
year, actual sales in January 2012 stood close to the five and ten year
average for the month.
The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.4 per cent on a
month-over-month basis in January following a 2.9 per cent increase in
December. The monthly decline in new supply reflects a drop in new
listings in a number of Canada's largest urban centres, which offset a
jump in new listings in Vancouver.
Sales fell in January shifting the national market back towards the
mid-point of balanced territory and reversing the recent trend which
had seen the market becoming tighter over the final four months of
2011. The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market
balance, stood at 53.8 per cent in January, down from 55.5 per cent in
December and 55.4 per cent in November.
Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, 60
per cent of local markets were balanced in January. Compared to
December, there were fewer buyers' and sellers' markets, and a greater
number of balanced markets.
The number of months of inventory stood at six months at the end of
January on a national basis, up from 5.7 months in December 2011 and
returning it to where it stood in October 2011. The number of months of
inventory represents the number of months it would take to sell current
inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and is another
measure of the balance between housing supply and demand.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes
sold in January 2012 was $348,178, representing an increase of 1.2 per
cent from its year-ago level. This ranks among the smallest increases
since late 2010.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national average home price rose 1.6
per cent on a month-over-month basis, marking a rebound from a decline
of similar magnitude in December. This pattern mirrors the one playing
out in the newly-launched MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), published on
"Year-over-year comparisons in the national average price are expected
to become volatile and may turn negative, reflecting average price
developments in the first half of 2011 in Vancouver," said Gregory
Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "At that time, high-end home sales in
Vancouver's priciest neighbourhoods surged to all-time record levels,
which skewed the national average price upward considerably. A replay
of this phenomenon is not expected this year. As a result, comparisons
for national average price to year-ago levels over the coming months
will reflect an upwardly skewed base effect. For this reason,
year-over-year comparisons should be kept in perspective. Developments
in the MLS® HPI will provide important guidance on price trends, since
it is not affected by the problem of compositional shifts in the mix of
The MLS® HPI also takes into account the contributions toward the price
of a home made by a broad range of quantitative and qualitative housing
features, allowing it to track Canadian home price trends better than
any other measure.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines
both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in
establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in
centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for
price differential between geographic areas.
Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing
MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada's real
estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest
single-industry trade associations, representing more than 100,000
REALTORS® working through more than 100 real estate Boards and