CREA releases latest stats, warns against further housing policy

April 22, 2017

It was a record-breaking month for Canadian real estate in March.

The association says home sales over its Multiple Listings Service system increased by 1.1 per cent in March to top the previous monthly record set in April 2016.

Sales were up on a month-over-month basis in more than half of the local markets measured, led by Greater Vancouver and the nearby Fraser Valley region in B.C. as well as London, Ont., St. Thomas, Ont. and Montreal.

Compared with a year ago, sales were up 6.6 per cent as gains in the Greater Toronto Area led the way.

“The current strength in national home sales mainly speaks to what’s going on in and around Toronto,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “Elsewhere, sales either remain slow or well below previous heights. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

The actual national average price for homes sold in March this year was $548,517, up 8.2 per cent from a year ago.

Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the average price was $389,726.

With Toronto’s red hot housing market overshadowing the rest of the country, CREA took the opportunity to warn the government about the impact federal regulations – aimed at cooling Toronto’s market – could have on markets across the country.

“The latest Canadian housing market statistics suggest that the drum-tight housing market balance in Toronto and nearby cities stands in contrast to housing market trends elsewhere in Ontario and other provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Because housing market balance varies by location, federal or provincial policy measures aimed at cooling demand in Toronto risk destabilizing housing markets elsewhere.”

With files from Canadian Press