The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) newly released National Statistics for April shows a large climb in home sales activity. That increase comes after many months of decline stabilizing after 2018’s massive drop in national sales.
April’s climb in sales isn’t necessarily a sign that the market is heading for a recovery. It might just be an indicator of price stabilization. February of 2018 saw the largest decline in sales in over a decade. April’s recovery is still a long way from making up for those lost sales.
CREA’s stats show that April sales were up around 60% for all local markets. The GTA makes up more than half of those gains.
April report breaks down climb in home sales significance
As mentioned in recent news hits, Montreal is experiencing a hot market, while the GTA is seeing its total sales climb. That increase in both markets has helped to offset the significant declines in sales in the Greater Vancouver area.
Actual sales activity was up by 4.2% on a year-over-year basis in April. This is the first month with a year-over-year gain since December 2017. Of course, we have to view this gain in context, since April of 2018’s sales hit a seven-year low.
The total number of newly listed homes increased by 2.7% last month. This simply maintains the momentum created by March’s 3.4% increase. April’s increase in sales moved the national sales-to-new listings ratio from 54.3% in March to 54.8% in April.
“Sales activity is stabilizing among Canada’s five most active urban housing markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “That list no longer includes Greater Vancouver, which fell out of the top-five for the first time since the recession and is well into buyers’ market territory. Sales there are still trending lower as buyers adjust to a cocktail of housing affordability challenges, reduced access to financing due to the mortgage stress-test and housing policy changes implemented by British Columbia’s provincial government.”
The national average price, for sold homes, increased slightly on a year-over-year basis by 0.3% in April. It now sits at $495,000. As usual, this number is heavily skewed by housing prices in the GVA and GTA. These are still the two most expensive real estate markets in the country. If we remove them from the calculation, the national average price drops by $104,000, and sits at $391,000.