|Market Watch - March 2009|
Many buyers are out there looking, but seem nervous about making offers. They’re confused by what they’ve been reading and hearing about the state of the real estate market. The fact is, although sales and prices have both declined in different percentages around the country, they have remained relatively steady when compared with prices south of the border.
Typically the spring real estate market tends to experience more activity and with the Canadian economy experiencing a period of low mortgage rates and strong immigration, this trend could continue. According to Statistics Canada, Canada welcomed 247,202 permanent residents in 2008, 70,000 more than in 1998, and well within the government’s planned range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for 2009. Many of these new immigrants will soon be in the market as First Time home buyers.
With the Bank of Canada dropping its prime lending rate this month, those in the market for a home will see mortgage rates at near record lows. This combined with the federal government’s decision to increase the withdrawal amount in the Home Buyers Plan from $20,000 to $25,000 will make buying a home a little easier.
Below is a brief summary of sales activities in some areas across the country:
GTA - Ontario
On a month-over-month basis, sales and average price were above January levels of 2,670 and $343,632 respectively. The housing market is seasonal. Traditionally, in the first half of every year, sales and average price climb to their highest levels in late spring before trending lower from July onward.
Hamilton - Ontario
Ottawa - Ontario
Edmonton - Alberta
Calgary - Alberta
The number of condominium sales for the month of February 2009 was 343, an increase of 52% from the 225 condominium transactions recorded in January 2009 and a decrease of 39% from February 2008 when 562 condominiums changed hands.
The average price of a single family Calgary metro home in February 2009 was $415,568, showing an increase of 0.6% from January 2009, when the average price was $413,049 and showing a decrease of 12% from February 2008 when the average price was $471,696. The average price of a Calgary metro condominium was $268,971, showing a 0.7% decrease from January 2009 when the average price was $270,940 and showing a decrease of about 13% over last year, when the average price was $311,812.
Sales showed a 48% decrease compared to the 1,308 sales processed in February 2008. The Board also received fewer new listings last month compared to the same month last year – 2,369 compared to the 2,808 new listings received in February 2008 – however, the total number of active listings at 9,594 was still 11% higher than in January and almost 30% higher than the 7,415 active listings available in February 2008.
Housing Price Index (HPI), decreased 10.4% compared to February 2008, however, increased from the previous month for the first time in nine months. The benchmark price was $456,683 in February 2009 compared to $509,958 last year. The average price of Fraser Valley townhouses decreased by 10.5% in one year, going from $330,444 in February 2008 to $295,731 in February 2009, while the average price of apartments decreased by 10% going from $253,351 in February of last year to $228,091 in February 2009.
Regina - Saskatchewan
For the year-to-date 378 homes have sold in the city, down 17% from 456 recorded in 2008.
The average price of residential properties sold in February inside the city was $231,880—a new monthly high—up 5% from the previous one set last year of $221,814. The average price for the year-to-date was $223,971, another high and up 5% over 2008’s $213,257. There were 521 new listings received during the month, an increase of 39% from 2008’s 375.
Associate Broker / Property Manager