Canadian Real Estate Association raises 2019 forecast as August home sales up

Sales were up five per cent, compared with the same month last year

A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home sales this year, helped by economic fundamentals and falling mortgage rates.

The improved outlook for the year came as CREA reported home sales in August were up five per cent compared with the same month last year.

The organization said Monday that national home sales are now projected to rise to 482,000 units this year, up five per cent from 2018.

In June, CREA predicted sales to climb 1.2 per cent to 463,000 this year.

“Economic fundamentals underpinning housing activity remain strong outside of the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador, the association said.

“More importantly for home buyers and housing markets, longer-term mortgage rates have been declining. Among those that have declined is the Bank of Canada’s benchmark five-year rate used by banks to qualify mortgage applicants.”

Home sales weakened last year after Ottawa tightened mortgage qualification rules at the start of 2018 and mortgage rates started to rise.

However, the rates on fixed-rate mortgages started to decline earlier this year and helped fuel a pick up in home sales.

In August, home sales were up in most of the country’s largest markets, including B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Calgary, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and Montreal.

READ MORE: Micro-investing in B.C. real estate properties

Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said a solid job market and population flows persist across much of the country, amplified by a drop in five-year fixed mortgage rates since late-2018.

“Yet again, the housing bears are going to have to take their medicine,” Kavcic wrote in a report. “This momentum should continue into the fall.”

On a month-over-month basis, home sales in August were up 1.4 per cent, the sixth consecutive move higher.

Sales were up in slightly more than half of all local markets, with gains led by Winnipeg and an improvement in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

The actual national average price for a home sold in August was about $493,500, up almost four per cent from the same month last year.

Excluding the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver regions, the national average price was less than $393,000, while the year-over-year gain was 2.7 per cent.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rural Saanich residents urged to take preventative steps ahead of wildfire season

Saanich Fire Department expects another hot, dry wildfire season

West Shore RCMP, ICBC target speeders and aggressive drivers

Hotspots include Sooke Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Colwood Corners

One person taken to hospital after crash on Elk Lake Drive

Emergency vehicles are blocked access to the area for about 30 minutes

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Most Read