Home sales cool last month after record March, GTA leads decline

Claudine Rigal
Mai 16, 2017

The GTA also factored in the decline, with faded activity compared to record levels set in April a year ago.

Resales of Canadian homes fell 1.7 percent in April from record highs in March as new listings spiked, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Monday in a report that suggested a long-awaited slowdown in housing had begun. "Policy makers will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on the combined effect of federal and provincial measures aimed at cooling housing markets of particular concern, while avoiding further regulatory changes that risk producing collateral damage in communities where the housing market is well balanced or already favours buyers".

The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, were down 7.5 percent from April 2016, while home prices surged 19.8 percent from a year ago, according to the group's home price index.

Like BMO, CREA itself also suggested the Fair Housing Plan for Ontario, the most populous and therefore active housing market in the country, was having an impact on the province.

"Home buyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto", CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump said in a statement.

"Sales in Vancouver are down from record levels in the first half of previous year but the gap has started to close", CREA president Andrew Peck said in a statement. Prices in that city were up 2.4 percent in April, and have gained 11.4 percent over the past 12 months, triggering a 12 percent increase in listings last month.

Nationwide, sales were down 7.5 per cent over the previous year.

Sales in the Greater Toronto Area fell by nearly seven per cent in a month, but prices still rose - exactly what happened in the early days of Vancouver's mini-slowdown, before prices started falling too. "How much growth slows in the wake of the new measures, and how persistent it is, remains to be seen". When you take the major Vancouver and Toronto markets out, the average price falls $150,000.

The jump in new listings and drop in sales eased the national sales-to-new listings ratio to 60.1% in April compared to 67.3% in March.

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