CREA Reports National Sales Figures

Statistics released on January 15 by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales eased between November and December 2019.


  • National home sales declined by 0.9% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in December.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 22.7% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties dropped by a further 1.8% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.8% m-o-m and 3.4% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 9.6% y-o-y.

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems edged down 0.9% in December 2019, ending a streak of monthly gains that began last March. Activity is currently about 18% above the six-year low reached in February 2019 but ends the year about 7% below the heights recorded in 2016 and 2017. 

“Home price growth is picking up in housing markets where listings are in short supply,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “Meanwhile, the mortgage stress-test continues to sideline potential home buyers where supply is ample,” said Stephen.

“The momentum for home price gains picked up as last year came to a close,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “If the recent past is prelude, then price trends in British Columbia, the GTA, Ottawa and Montreal look set to lift the national result this year, despite the continuation of a weak pricing environment among housing markets across the Prairie region.”

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in December 2019 was around $517,000, up 9.6% from the same month the previous year.

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 more than $117,000 from the national average price, trimming it to around $400,000 and reducing the y-o-y gain to 6.7%.

Visit the CREA website for the full report: CREA

Building permits, November 2019

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 2.4% to $8.1 billion in November. Declines were reported in six provinces, with the largest decrease in Ontario (-5.7% to $3.2 billion). Quebec (+10.3% to $1.9 billion) offset some of this decline. 

Residential permits down
Not including Prince Edward Island, permits for multi-family dwellings were down in all provinces, decreasing 11.3% to $2.5 billion.The total value of permits for single family dwellings offset some of this decline, rising 5.6% to $2.3 billion, led by Ontario (+$78 million) and British Columbia (+$41 million).

Increase in industrial and institutional permits
Non-residential permits were largely unchanged in November (-0.1%), however there was notable movement within the components.

The value of industrial permits rose 24.5% to $753 million. The majority of this gain was attributable to a high value permit for an organic waste management facility in Québec City.

Meanwhile, the value of institutional permits rose 14.5% to $894 million, largely due to gains in the province of Quebec (+$209 million) resulting from building intentions for healthcare and educational facilities.

A decline in commercial permits (-13.5% to $1.7 billion) offset the gains noted above. 

Nunavut permits increase
The total value of permits issued in Nunavut jumped from $500,000 in October to $16 million in November. The increase was largely due to a mixed-use residential and commercial project in Iqaluit. This was the largest increase in the value of residential permits in Nunavut since December 2018.

Source: Statistics Canada 

CMHC reports annual pace of housing starts in Canada slowed in December

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of housing starts slowed in December, mostly because of a decline in multiple-unit projects in urban areas.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts came in at 197,329 in December, down from 204,320 in November.

Analysts on average had expected an annual rate of 210,000 for December, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The overall drop came as the pace of urban starts slowed 4% in December to 185,934 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Starts on multiple-unit dwellings in urban areas fell 5% to 138,049, while urban starts of single-detached homes edged up 1% to 47,885.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11,395 units.

The six-month moving average of the overall monthly seasonally adjusted rate was 212,160 units in December, down from 219,921 in November.

Source: City News