First National Financial LP

Residential Mortgage Commentary - Colder weather and a cooling market

  • First National Financial LP

There is a chill in the air and the Canadian housing market continues to cool.   The October numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association show sales dipped 5.6% compared to September and managed just a 0.9% increase year-over-year.

Both buyers and sellers appear to be staying indoors where it is warm.

“We’re only in November, but it appears many would-be home buyers have already gone into hibernation,” said CREA Chair Larry Cerqua.  “The October numbers also revealed some sellers may be shelving their plans until next spring,” he added.

The growth in new listings made a U-turn, dropping 2.3% compared to September.  That brought an end to six straight months of gains.  However, because sales also slowed the sales-to-new listings ratio continued to ease.  It now stands at a 10-year low of 49.5%.  The long-term average is 55.1%.

Inventories continue to increase, with 4.1 months of stock on hand, up from 3.7 months in September.  The long term average is about 5 months.

Prices declined again in October.  CREA’s preferred measure – the Aggregate Composite Home Price Index – slipped 0.8% in September.  Year-over-year the HPI was up 1.1%.

The National Average price was up 1.8% compared to a year ago, coming in just shy of $657,000.  As always, that number is skewed higher by activity in Toronto and Vancouver.