On the heels of a warmer summer, fall has brought an activity cool down to almost every major Canadian housing market.
The reason for the dip in sales and prices varies from city to city, but almost all are dealing with the impact of stricter mortgage qualification rules and higher interest rates.
For a closer look at where the market sits heading into the final stretch of 2018, Livabl has rounded up a series of charts to give you the perspective you need on the current state of affairs.
1. National home sales took a dive
What’s going on here: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) tracked national home sales over the past year.
The takeaway: Sales fell 1.6 percent month-over-month in October, the second consecutive month of cooling activity. CREA notes that, while the market is still stronger than earlier this year, sales are well below year-ago levels.
2. BC sales activity continues to struggle
What’s going on here: The British Columbia Real Estate Board tracked seasonally adjusted sales activity in the province over the past 18 years.
The takeaway: It’s been a rough year for the BC housing market, and October wasn’t much better. Cities are struggling to adjust to stricter mortgage rules, a foreign buyers tax, and rising interest rates.
3. Toronto home sales are stabilizing
What’s going on here: The Toronto Real Estate Board tracked the sales-to-new-listings ratio for the Toronto market over the past three years. A ratio of between 40 to 60 percent is considered balanced, with readings above and below indicating a sellers and buyers market, respectively.
The takeaway: The market remains firmly in balanced territory, with sales falling and listings rising slightly in October. While the market seemed to be inching back into seller’s territory in August, October’s reading shows that that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.
4. The low-rise market is struggling
What’s going on here: Scotiabank Economics used CREA data to chart the price movement of single-family homes in the BC Lower Mainland, Greater Toronto, Montreal and Calgary areas, over the past three years.
The takeaway: Nearly every market saw a dip in low-rise prices last month, with the exception of Toronto, where prices inched upwards. For months, the low-rise market has struggled, as buyers flock to the relatively more affordable condo market.
5. National actual activity is down
What’s going on here: CREA tracked actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity over the past year.
The takeaway: Activity was down 3.74 percent in October, below year-ago levels but still in line with the 10-year average.
6. Prices also took a hit at the national level
What’s going on here: CREA tracked the actual national average sales price over the last year.
The takeaway: The average price dropped 1.53 percent year-over-year to $496,800, reflecting an overall dampening of activity last month.
7. Even Montreal home prices are levelling off
What’s going on here: RBC Economics used CREA data to track the MLS Home Price Index for Montreal from 2006 to 2018.
The takeaway: Prices in the city have been steadily rising ever since 2015, boosted by a strong job market, but things began to level off in October, a potential sign that the market’s banner year is coming to a close.