Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Canadian House Prices. Sales Down, but Prices Hold Firm. Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Weigh Heavily.

The average resale housing price has risen to $352,800, up 1.6 percent over last December. That is the good news. Overall, sales of existing homes in Canada declined by 17 percent from the level last year.

In addition, the supply of new homes onto the market has been steadily declining for three months. This reduced level of supply has helped to ensure that prices have remained relatively steady, as has a reluctance from home-owners to accept prices lower than they have become accustomed to in hot markets.

According to the CREA's chief economist, Gregory Klump, sellers are simply taking their homes off the market and holding firm if the prices they desire are not materializing. This has made for a slower market, but at the same time, there is a strong semblance of stability. 

The national average is being particularly weighed down by Toronto and Vancouver, which if removed from the sales data, results in a 3.3 percent price increase. 

Bad news for home owners and real estate investors? Not necessarily. Stability and consolidation in the marketplace is a good thing. A long slow period of price consolidation can help to familiarize buyers and sellers with more realistic and current price levels, and help mitigate a price collapse in the future. Also, as indicated above, Toronto and Vancouver are seriously weighing down data, so for those buying in many smaller urban centres across the country, the current situation is actually better. 

Cheers, and Happy Investing. 

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