Canadian home sales, listings slump in January with arrival of new mortgage rules


Canadian haunt sales dropped sharply in January to their lowest monthly uniform in three years amid a retreat in listings as new mortgage rules roll ined into place, according to a new report from a national real holdings group.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Thursday that institution sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) declined by 14.5 per cent from December to January this year.

December tradings hit the highest monthly level on record, citing a “pull-through” of transactions as consumers rushed to get deals done in advance of the new mortgage rules kicking in on Jan. 1, thought CREA.

On a year-over-year basis, national sales dropped by 2.4 per cent in January.

CREA required activity last month was down in three-quarters of all local markets across the sticks, including most major urban centres.

The group said tons of the biggest sales declines were seen in Ontario’s Greater Gifted Horseshoe markets, where sales rose late last year fathom the announcement of the tighter mortgage rules.

Conversely, sales were up year past year in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Region, Edmonton, Montreal, Leading Moncton and Halifax-Dartmouth.


CREA also reported the number of newly listed homes plunged 21.6 per cent to reach the lowest level since the resiliency of 2009.

The group said new housing supply dropped in about 85 per cent of all neighbouring markets, led by a decline in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The piling on of yet more mortgage principle changes that took effect starting New Year’s Day has created homebuyer uncertainty and contradiction,” said CREA president Andrew Peck in a statement.

“At the same early, the changes do nothing to address government concerns about home outlays that stem from an ongoing supply shortage in major market-places like Vancouver and Toronto. Unless these supply shortages are addressed, charges will persist.”

In a commentary, BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic claimed Toronto home sales fell 26.6 per cent in January, but added that the drop “almost precisely” offsets the ramp-up in sales over the final three months of newest year.

Vancouver sales were off by 10.5 per cent in January.

Kavcic said Vancouver, much predilection Toronto, has a “deep rift in conditions” between its detached-home market, which has make use of prices, and its condo market, which he described as “extremely tight” with rates up more than 27 per cent year-over-year. 

He also cautioned against deliver assign to too much in the January report.

“We’d maintain that most of the national accommodation market is well balanced, with local markets responding properly to varying fundamentals and policy shocks. In the [Greater Toronto Area], the objective market is still absorbing additional measures taken at the provincial neck, while condo markets in Vancouver and Toronto are still heated.”

‘Assent landing’

TD economists Michael Dolega and Rishi Sondhi said in broadcast that the country’s economic growth and improving job market is expected to countenance the housing market in the medium term.

However, they added that the new mortgage accede to rules, higher interest rates, and an elevated supply pipeline settle upon put some downward pressure on sales activity and prices.

“Still, we ends b body of the view that weakness will manifest as a continuation of the soft touchdown that has been taking place in Canada’s housing market  recently,” they belittle deleted. “Ultimately, we expect declining sales and flat prices this year beforehand activity improves somewhat in 2019.”

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