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Market Watch - November 2008

Blog by | November 19th, 2008

Market Watch - November 2008
Housing Market Continues to Reflect Economic Times
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The erosion of consumer confidence that began with rising fuel prices earlier this year is continuing as the global financial crisis and volatile equity markets have many Canadian households concerned about their own finances. This is clearly reflected in the slowdown of the housing market.
ALBERTA, seems to be maintaining an even keel
(November 4, 2008, Edmonton, Alberta) Despite global economic unrest and uncertainty in other North American housing markets, Edmonton seems to be maintaining an even keel according to figures released by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. October residential resale figures were lower than last October but within the normal range for this time of year. Overall prices were down but single family residences gained slightly in price.

“Sales typically slow in the fourth quarter and this year is no exception,” said Marc Perras, president of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. “Stronger sales in the third quarter may have reduced demand in October but REALTORS® are still busy assisting buyers and sellers with their transactions.”

The average price of a single family residence was up one third of a percent (0.33%) over September at $363,274. Condominium sales took the biggest single month drop this year resulting in condo prices down by 5.8% with an average price of $237,590 during October. Duplex and rowhouses sold on average for $307,178, which was down 2.7% from September. The average residential sales price (including all types of residential property) was $317,784; dragged down by the lower condo prices.

“Listings were still strong in October although the inventory of homes available on the MLS® continued to reduce toward the normal levels,” said Perras. There were 3,116 homes listed during the month with 1,251 sold for a sales-to-listing ratio of 40% (55% in September). At the end of the month there were 8,525 homes available – down from 8,808 last month. The average days on market also dropped from 61 to 58 days in October.

BRITISH COLUMBIA, a modest 4% sales increase is forecast for 2009

(October 29, 2008.Vancouver, BC) The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its Fall 2008 Housing Forecast today. Residential sales are forecast to decline 28% from 102,805 units in 2007 to 73,700 units this year. A modest 4% increase to 76,500 units is forecast for 2009.

“The erosion of consumer confidence that began with rising fuel prices earlier in the year is continuing, as the global financial crisis and volatile equity markets have BC households concerned about their own finances,” said Cameron Muir, Chief Economist.

A weaker provincial economy is expected to increase the jobless rate from 4.4% this year to 4.9% in 2009. “While some job losses will occur next year, BC households will remain on a relatively solid financial footing,” added Muir.  

The average MLS® residential price is forecast to increase 3% to $453,000 this year. However, home prices peaked in the first quarter and have been edging lower for several months. For 2009, the average price is forecast to decline 9% to $413,000, with most of the decrease having already occurred by the end this year.

Downward pressure on home prices is expected to ease by the second quarter of 2009, as an increase in affordability and consumer confidence will see a modest growth in sales. The inventory of homes for sale is also expected to decline in the coming months as potential home sellers delay putting their homes on the market until conditions improve.


GTA resale housing market continues to reflect economic times

(November 5, 2008, Toronto, Ontario)  The Greater Toronto Area resale housing market reported 5,155 sales in October, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today. This represents a 35% decline from the 7,915 sales reported in October 2007 and a 25% decrease from the 6,876 transactions that took place during the same period two years ago.

In the City of Toronto, there were 2,136 sales, with sales activity down 38% from the 3,455 transactions recorded last October. In the 905 Region 3,019 sales were recorded, with sales activity down 32% from a year ago when 4,460 homes changed hands.

With 68,570 transactions to date this year, sales are within 16% of the 81,563 transactions noted a year ago. The 2007 market referred to was a record breaking year with each month breaking records for the entire year. Putting this into perspective, 2008 figures are indicative of a return to a more balanced market.

In the City of Toronto, the current average price of a home was $376,896, down 13% from last October’s average of $434,022 and within 3% of the October 2006 average of $386,807.

In the 905 Region homes are selling for an average price of $336,049, a decline of 8% from October 2007’s average of $364,142. Prices in this area however, remain one per cent higher than the October 2006 average of $332,822.

Hamilton & Burlington area – Balanced market now in full swing

(November 4, 2008 – Hamilton, Ontario) The Hamilton-Burlington area resale market reported a total of 926 units sold in October, indicating a decrease of 27.3% over the same month last year.

The total unit sales for the first 10 months of 2008 are being reported at 9.8% lower than the same period last year, while new units listed are 5.2% higher for the year-to-date, according to Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) statistics released by the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB).

“Although we saw a small reprieve in September, October continues the slowing trend that has defined 2008, and for the first time the average price has decreased,” said Ann Cosens, RAHB President. “A number of factors have lead to this down turn including: decreased consumer confidence; the global economy; and changes in Canada’s mortgage lending laws, which limit government-guaranteed mortgages to amortization periods of 35 years or less and with at least a 5% down payment, as of October 1st.”

The average price of freehold residential properties sold in the month of October was $268,805, a decrease of 8.7% over the same month last year. In the condominium market the average price of condominiums in October was $196,899, a decrease of 7.2% over October 2007.

October’s total residential average sales price decreased 8.6% over the same month in 2007, but is still up 4.9% for the year to date. The total number of units listed for sale during October was 1,849, which is 18.4% more than were listed in the same period in 2007.

Ottawa - Resale housing market eases in October; average sale price increases

(November 4, 2008 - Ottawa, Ontario) Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 961 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,094 in October 2007, a decrease of 12.2%. There were 1,206 sales in September 2008.

The average price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in October in the Ottawa area was $280,470, an increase of 2.2% over October 2007.

“The resale market in Ottawa is easing back to around 2006 levels. Year-to-date, Ottawa’s resale home sales are ahead of where they were at the end of October 2006, and sale prices nudged upwards once again last month. At the end of October, 12,619 residential properties had been sold through MLS® this year, compared to 12,217 at the same time in 2006,” said Board President Heather Skuce.


 For more information on real estate in Canada, contact:

Alexandra Rebagliati

Cell: 250.870.2792