While 2014 national resale home sales activity got off to a slower start than previous years, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), activity is expected to pick up during spring and heading into summer.
The forecast is based on home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems of Canadian real estate boards and associations.
CREA says the slower start to the year may in part be payback for stronger levels of activity last summer and fall when buyers with pre-approved mortgages bought homes before their lower rates expired. An exceptionally tough winter in many parts of the country may also be partly to blame.
With mortgage rates having edged lower and an expected pick-up in economic growth, sales are expected to improve this spring.
“I expect fixed mortgage rates will edge marginally higher in the second half of 2014 as evidence confirms an anticipated pick-up in economic growth,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Marginally higher mortgage rates are likely to counterbalance the lift provided by stronger economic and continuing job growth, and restrain the momentum for sales activity.”
Sales are forecast to reach 463,700 units in 2014, representing an increase of 1.3 per cent from 2013. This would place sales in line with their 10-year average, and hold national activity to within fairly short reach of the 450,000 mark for the seventh straight year.
Average prices have remained firm and continue to reflect a rise in the share of national sales among some of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Prices have been heating up in some markets, particularly in Calgary and Toronto, where single family properties are in short supply.
The national average home price is forecast to rise by 3.8 per cent to $397,000 in 2014, with similar sized gains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.
|BILD: GTA homes sales improve over 2013|
New homes and condominium sales in the GTA are showing improvement over last year, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).
February sales were up three per cent over February 2013, with the lowrise market showing a five per cent increase while highrise sales edged up two per cent, according to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD’s official source for new-home market intelligence.
Total sales for the first two months of the year were up 28 per cent over 2013.
“Rising sales reinforce the fact that the GTA remains a great place to buy and enjoy a new home,” said BILD President and CEO Bryan Tuckey. “Much of the credit goes to our members, who have continued to introduce quality, complete communities into the market.”
Prices were also on the rise, increasing by three per cent in the lowrise market since February 2013. The average price of a detached, semi or townhouse in the GTA was $656,814 in February. Highrise prices increased by two per cent, to $438,556.