Photo: James Bombales
While there have been plenty of predictions about where the Canadian housing market might be headed in the new year, it’s important to take stock of where activity levels stand today. Without the proper context, even the best forecasts from industry experts can be difficult to fully grasp.
With this in mind, Livabl has collected 10 stats about the market, covering everything from the slowly warming Toronto housing market to new homes sales numbers, luxury home prices, and more.
Read on for 10-need-to-know stats about the Canadian housing market heading into 2019.
1. The Toronto housing market has been posting month-over-month sales and prices gains, in what experts are saying is a sign that the city has finally adjusted to stricter mortgage qualification rules that came into effect in January. Sales were up 6 percent year-over-year in October, while listings fell 2.7 percent. All signs point to a tighter market heading into 2019. “The numbers you’re seeing in the GTA are the direct result of strong demand amid relatively limited supply,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, tells Livabl.
2. But Toronto’s activity numbers pale in comparison to Montreal, which has emerged as one of the country’s hottest housing markets this year. The city saw its 44th month of consecutive sales increases last month, as condo sales jumped 22 percent year-over-year, while single-family-home sales rose 6 percent.
3. There’s mixed opinions about where national home prices could be headed in the new year, but most experts agree they’ll inch up slightly in the final quarter of 2018. Royal LePage is forecasting a 2.2 percent jump to $625,449 in Q4. “That growth will likely continue into 2019,” says Soper.
4. But Canada is losing its standing in global home price rankings. Cities like Toronto and Hamilton fell from first and third place to 137th and 128th place, respectively, in Knight Frank’s quarterly global housing price index in Q3.
5. Not every market segment is experiencing the same activity levels. The national luxury home market had a rough year, with sales dropping 35 percent year-over-year last quarter.
6. Meanwhile, the country’s new home market continues to perform well, particularly in cities like Toronto. GTA new condo sales grew 4 percent year-over-year in Q3, the third highest third quarter sales volume in 10 years, according to data from real estate research firm Urbanation. “When it comes to markets like the [new GTA new condo market], we expect momentum to build heading into the new year, as there’s a strong demand in the region for that property segment,” executive VP and regional director of RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region Christopher Alexander tells Livabl.
7. The slightly weaker market has had one positive effect that will likely please policy makers — mortgage credit is expanding at its weakest pace since the early 1980s, at just 3.4 percent year-over-year in September.
8. BMO economist Robert Hogue is predicting a “holding pattern” for the Canadian housing market in 2019. What does that look like? A 2.8 percent home resale gain, following a 10.2 percent decline in 2018. “The cooling of Canada’s market — especially Vancouver and Toronto — remains on track,” he wrote, in his most recent forecast.