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Blog › May 2015

CREA numbers reveal April surprise


Sales activity continues to defy expectations, with Canadians taking advantage of warm weather and low rates in April for a 10 per cent spike in sales volume.

The number of transactions last month came in at 52,541 deals, up 10 per cent compared to the year-ago period, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Most provinces also experienced large hikes in sales, most notably a 28.7 per cent year-over-year increase in British Columbia and a 17.4 per cent year-over-year rise in Ontario. Those impressive climbs offset declines of 23 per cent and 14.8 per cent in Alberta and Saskatchewan, respectively, compared to their April 2014 performance.

“As expected, low mortgage interest rates and the onset of spring ushered many homebuyers off the sidelines, particularly in regions where winter was long and bitter,” said CREA president Pauline Aunger.

She and others are referencing a surprising increase in sales for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador – up 7.8 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively. Indeed, those provinces are certainly benefitting from milder weather following a particularly brutal and especially long winter that certainly stifled the market.

 Many of those entering the market are doing so for the first time, choosing condos over detached properties, which are more and more out of reach for buyers on all rungs of the property ladder.

In Toronto and Vancouver, condo sales were up 16.1 per cent and 34.4 per cent, respectively.

Calgary, however, is still feeling the impact of the oil shock: condo sales were off 28.5 per cent from the year-ago period. Prices in Calgary, however, remained relatively stable, dropping a modest 4.6 per cent from the year-ago period to $296,612.

Across the country and across all property types, sales price was up 9.5 per cent to an average of $448,862.

Prices in Toronto’s condo market were up 5.8 per cent to $380,517, while Vancouver’s condo prices slipped 0.3 per cent to $457,914.

“In recent years, the seasonal pattern for home sales and listings has become amplified in places where listings are in short supply relative to demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “This particularly stands out in and around Toronto.”



Hottest April for Home Sales in a Decade


Vancouver, BC – May 14, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,952 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 28.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.3 billion, a 45.5 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $634,744, a 13 per cent increase since last May.

“Last month was the strongest April for home sales in a decade,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The elevated level of buying activity this spring is now expected to push 2015 home sales to their highest level since 2007.”

“Consumers are taking full advantage of rock bottom interest rates and are demonstrating significant confidence in the housing market,” added Muir. “However, dwindling inventories combined with competition for detached homes in the province`s large urban markets is pushing home prices higher.”

During the first four months of 2015, BC residential sales dollar volume rose 37.1 per cent to $19 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales increased by 24.5 per cent to 30,091 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 10.1 per cent to $631,860.