Canadian home sales rise again in May 2019

Statistics released on June 14 by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales climbed further in May 2019.

Home sales recorded via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 1.9% in May 2019. Together with monthly gains in March and April, activity in May reached the highest level since January 2018. While sales stood 8.9% above the six-year low reached in February 2019, this latest increase has only just returned levels to their historical average.

While May sales were only up in half of all local markets, that list included almost all large markets, led by gains in both the Greater Vancouver (GVA) and Greater Toronto (GTA) areas.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 6.7% compared to May 2018, marking the largest year-over-year (y-o-y) gain recorded since the summer of 2016. The increase returned sales in line with the 10-year average for the month of May. While about two-thirds of local markets posted y-o-y gains for the month, the national increase was dominated by improving sales trends in the GTA, which accounted for close to half of the overall increase.

“The mortgage stress-test continues to present challenges for home buyers in housing markets where they have plenty of homes to choose from but are forced by the test to save up a bigger down payment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Hopefully the stress-test can be fine tuned to enable home buyers to qualify for mortgage financing sooner without causing prices to shoot up.”

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2019 was close to $508,000, up 1.8% from the same month in 2018.

The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $111,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $397,000.

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.

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

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