CREA Report Latest Home Resales Numbers

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in May regained some of the ground they lost when they hit a record low in April, but remained down sharply compared with a year ago.The association says national home sales for May were down 39.8% compared with the same month last year, even after rising 56.9%  from April.

CREA says May was the weakest showing for the month since 1996. The sales came as the number of newly listed homes rose by a record 69% in May compared with April.

“May’s housing numbers are certainly a mixed bag of results – sales and new listings are both way up month-over-month but still way down compared to year ago,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist. “The big picture is things are moving in the right direction but still have a long way to go. That said, under the surface those numbers have been steadily rising from mid-April right through the first week of June, so June may end up a similar story. With sales and new listings moving down and now back up in tandem, and overall supply still falling, prices appear to be holding firm at this point.”

The national average price for homes sold in May was $494,500, down 2.6% from the same month last year. Excluding the Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets, the average price was about $401,000.

Source: 680 News
Source: CREA

CMHC Says Annual Pace of Housing Starts, Excluding Quebec, Down in May  

The annual pace of housing starts, excluding Quebec, in May fell 20.4% compared with April, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said on June 8. Excluding Quebec, the annual pace of housing starts fell to 132,576 in May compared with 166,477 in April as the pace of starts in Ontario slowed 40%.

The housing agency did not conduct its monthly starts and completion survey in Quebec in April following the introduction of pandemic measures in late March that brought construction in the province to a halt. It said home construction in Quebec resumed on April 20 and it resumed the survey in the province in May. Including Quebec, the annual pace of housing starts rose to 193,453 for May.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 196,750 units in May, down from 198,644 in April. Excluding Quebec, the moving average was 151,072 in May, down from 155,600 in April.

TD Bank economist Rishi Sondhi said homebuilding has generally remained resilient in the face of the pandemic.“While this result may surprise some, we note that homebuilding is in part a function of past housing demand, which has been strong,” Sondhi wrote in a report. “In addition, most provinces didn’t shutdown their construction sectors in response to the outbreak.” Sondhi noted that it is fair to question how long this resilience will hold up.

“Permit issuance pulled back sharply in April, which could flag near-term weakness ahead. Looking further out, the prospect of significantly slower population growth in coming quarters dims the medium-term prospects for homebuilding.”

In its outlook last month, CMHC said existing home sales are likely to fall between 19% and 29% from their pre-COVID level before beginning a slow, gradual recovery in 2021. It said average home prices could fall between nine and 18% in its forecast, before starting to recover in the first half of 2021. CMHC also said that housing starts will likely fall between 51% and 75% in the second half of 2020 from pre-COVID-19 levels before starting to recover in the first half of 2021 as economic conditions improve.

Source: The Star