Bank of Canada cuts rate


Thu, 07/16/2015 – 13:30

The Bank of Canada announced on July 15th, 2015 that it was lowering its trend-setting target overnight lending rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.50 per cent. The move follows another cut of the same size in January.

The Bank of Canada announced on July 15th, 2015 that it was lowering its trend-setting target overnight lending rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.50 per cent. The move follows another cut of the same size in January.

The Bank indicated that it expects the Canadian economy shrank modestly in the first half of the year but has begun to rebound and will gain steam. While its decision to lower interest rates is aimed at supporting business investment and exports, revisions to the Bank’s economic forecast also indicate that lower interest rates will also boost consumer spending and housing activity.

The Bank of Canada also pared back its inflation outlook due to a number of factors which are unlikely to reverse themselves in the near future. That means short-term interest rates are almost certain to remain on hold this year and over 2016.

Recall that when the Bank of Canada previously cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in January, Canada’s largest private banks lowered their lending rates by less than that. The same will likely hold true this time around. Accordingly, the Bank of Canada’s most recent interest rate cut is unlikely to cause consumer borrowing and mortgage lending to catch fire, especially given the currently high level of household debt.

The bottom line has shifted from “lower for longer” to “even lower for even longer”. All other things being equal, this is even more supportive for the housing market.

As of July 15th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on May 27th, and down 0.15 percentage points from one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on September 9th, 2015 and the next update to the Bank of Canada’s economic forecast will be on October 21st 2015.

(CREA 07/15/2015)

Home sales lower but remain strong in June


Wed, 07/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2015– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged slightly lower on a month-over-month basis in June 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales edged back by 0.8% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11% above June 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.2% from May to June.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.43% year-over-year in June.
  • The national average sale price rose 9.6% on a year-over-year basis in June; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 3.1%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations declined by 0.8 per cent in June 2015 compared to May. Sales levels in May and June marked the strongest monthly readings in more than five years.

June sales were up from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by increases in Hamilton-Burlington and in the Durham Region of the Greater Toronto Area. The monthly increase in sales there was offset by monthly sales declines in Ottawa and Montreal.

“Low interest rates are unquestionably helping boost consumer confidence and home sales activity this summer,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “But low interest rates are benefiting sales in some areas more than others. All real estate is local, with trends affected by a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Low interest rates are helping sales activity set new records in and around the Greater Toronto Area, which is boosting national sales activity,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Those records would be even higher were it not for an ongoing shortage of listings for single family homes in the area. The combination of strong demand and a shortage of listings is continuing to fuel single family home price increases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June 2015 set a record for the month, standing 11 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 14 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, and Montreal.

The number of newly listed homes was little changed (-0.2 per cent) in June compared to May, marking the third consecutive month in which they remained stable. There was roughly an even split between the number of local markets showing an increase in new listings and those showing a decline.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.2 per cent in June. Although little changed from its reading the previous month, it is up from the low of 50.4 per cent reached in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales over the first half of the year while new supply has remained stable.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in June. About one-third of all local markets breached the 60 per cent threshold in June, comprised mostly of markets in British Columbia together with those in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2015, unchanged from a month earlier when it reached its lowest reading in three years. The national balance between supply and demand has tightened since the beginning of the year, when it was at its most balanced in nearly two years.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.43 per cent on a year-over-year basis in June, accelerating slightly by comparison to the 5.17 per cent year-over-year gain logged in May. Gains have generally held within the range of between five to five and a half per cent since the beginning of 2014.

Year-over-year price growth picked up in June for single family homes, slowed for apartment units, and was little changed for townhouse/row units.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+7.65 per cent), with comparatively more modest increases for one-storey single family homes (+4.43 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.00 per cent) and apartment units (+2.64 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver (+10.26 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+8.94 per cent) continue to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island prices all recorded year-over-year gains of about four per cent in June.

Price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 0.48 per cent in June. This was the smallest gain in nearly four years and marks a full year of monthly slowdowns in the rate of year-over-year price growth.

Elsewhere, prices held steady on a year-over-year basis in Saskatoon and Ottawa and rose slightly in Greater Montreal. By comparison, prices fell by almost three and a half per cent in Regina and by about two per cent in Greater Moncton.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2015 was $453,560, up 9.6 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $346,904 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 3.1 per cent.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

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 types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems 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 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

Canadian home sales strengthen further in May


Mon, 06/15/2015 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, June 15, 2015 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted a fourth consecutive month-over-month increase in May 2015.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 3.1% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above May 2014 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from April to May.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.17% year-over-year in May.
  • The national average sale price rose 8.1% on a year-over-year basis in May; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 2.4%.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations rose 3.1 per cent in May 2015 compared to April. This marks the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity to its highest level in more than five years. (Chart A)

May sales were up from the previous month in about 60 per cent of all local markets, led by increases in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal.

“CMHC announced in April that effective June 1 it was hiking mortgage default insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment, so some buyers may have jumped off the fence and purchased in May to beat the increase,” said CREA President Pauline Aunger. “It’s one of the factors that could have affected sales last month. That said, all real estate is local, with trends that reflect a combination of local and national factors. REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“Sales in and around the Greater Toronto area played a starring role in the monthly increase in May sales,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “At the same time, the rebound in sales over the past few months in Calgary and Edmonton suggests that heightened uncertainty among some home buyers in these housing markets may be easing.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in May 2015 stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported for the same month last year and 5.7 per cent above the 10 year average for the month.

Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about half of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto and Montreal.

The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (-0.2 per cent) in May compared to April. This reflects an even split between housing markets where new listings rose and where they fell, with little monthly change for new listings in most of Canada’s largest and most active urban markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 57.6 per cent in May, up from a low of 50.4 per cent in January when it reached its most balanced point since March 2013. The ratio has risen steadily along with sales so far this year as new supply has remained little changed.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in about half of local housing markets in May. About a third of local markets were above the 60 per cent threshold in May, comprised mostly of markets in and around the Greater Toronto Area and markets in British Columbia.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The national balance between supply and demand has tightened since the beginning of the year, when buyers had more negotiating power than they had in nearly two years. There were 5.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of May 2015, its lowest reading in three years.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.17 per cent on a year-over-year basis in May, up slightly from the 4.97 per cent year-over-year gain logged in April. Gains have generally held to the range from five to five and a half per cent since the beginning of 2014. (Chart B)

Year-over-year price growth accelerated in May in all Benchmark home categories tracked by the index with the exception of one-storey single family homes.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+7.18 per cent), with more modest increases for one-storey single family homes (+4.11 per cent), townhouse/row units (+4.09 per cent) and apartment units (+2.91 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater

Vancouver (+9.41 per cent) and Greater Toronto (+8.90 per cent) continued to post by far the biggest year-over-year price increases. By comparison, Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island prices all recorded year-over-year gains of about four per cent in May.

Price gains in Calgary continued to slow, with a year-over-year increase of just 1.21 per cent in May. This was the smallest gain in more than three years and the eleventh consecutive monthly slowdown in year-over-year price growth.

Elsewhere, prices held steady on a year-over-year basis in Saskatoon and Ottawa, rose slightly in Greater Montreal and fell by about three per cent in Regina and Greater Moncton.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2015 was $450,886, up 8.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average home price continues to be upwardly distorted by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest $344,988 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 2.4 per cent.

– 30 –

 

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

 

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 types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems 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 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

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