There are several hot spots in the stabilizing Canadian housing market, a new report suggests.
Scotiabank Economics has analyzed 31 local markets from coast to coast, placing each under one of three categories: a buyer’s market, a seller’s market, or balanced.
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The report identifies seven as being in seller’s market territory as recently last month.
To determine where a market stands, Marc Desormeaux, a provincial economist for Scotiabank, looks at the sales-to-new listings ratio, a common gauge of market balance.
Ratios in the 40-to-60-percent range typically reflected a balanced market. Buyers tend to have the upperhand when the ratio is lower, while sellers gain an edge when it is higher.
Desormeaux also eyes the long-run norm, using the average ratio from 1990 to 2018 as a guide.
Based on these considerations, Montreal is the top-ranked market for June, having moved up a spot from May.
It has a sales-to-new listings ratio of 75.4, meaning for every 100 homes that are listed, approximately 75 homes are sold.
“Montreal reclaimed the mantle of Canada’s tightest housing market,” writes Desormeaux.
The Atlantic Canada cities of Moncton, which topped the list in May, and Saint John follow in second and third, respectively.
The remaining seller’s markets are all located in Ontario: London, Windsor, Ottawa, and Sudbury.
The vast majority of markets studied were deemed balanced in June — and that includes Toronto, the country’s biggest, although it slipped one spot compared to May.
“Demand-supply conditions have stayed roughly balanced in most major centres and sales and prices are generally recovering from a broad-based slump in February,” notes Desormeaux.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the national average price of a home was $505,500 in June, up 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, while sales activity was roughly flat over the same period.
However, buyers had the advantage in four locales, with Regina remaining in dead last for another month. Vancouver, meantime, was the third-weakest market.
“While markets chilled in Toronto and Vancouver, both cities are still on an upward trend, as are many adjacent centres,” says Desormeaux.