Canadian Home Sales Likely to Drop to Lowest Level in 3 Years

Published September 19, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Residences in South Richmond BC a close neighborhood.Despite certain suggestions to the contrary and the assurances of others, it appears that 2018 will see Canadian home sales dropping to their lowest level in three years, driven in large part by a measurable decline in Ontario. All of this according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, and a forecast that comes with both troubling and promising aspects depending on which side of the owner / buyer fence you’re on.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we understand that predictions of this variety will weigh heavily with those of you who make up the bulk of our audience and registrants – realtors. Our online lead generation system for realtors has been a big success, and we feel that sharing relevant information regarding the national market and facilitating discussion around it benefits everyone.

So let’s look at this forecast in greater detail.

A Noticeable Dip

The association’s expectation is that a number slightly in excess of 495,100 will indicate the number of homes to be sold next year, downgrading its sales forecast for 2017 with a 9.9% drop in August as compared to a year ago.

Come January and the beginning of 2018, the prediction is that sales will fall 2.3% through 2018, and further that the remainder of 2017 will see a 5.3% decline on the original forecast of roughly 506,000 homes to be sold between June 1 and Dec.31 of this year, a number that’s approximately 20K less than what was first forecast in June of this year.

Looking at in greater depth, it’s interesting to note that seasonally adjusted sales in August rose 1.3% from the prior month, in large part due to a 14.3% boost coming from the GTA area. While that in itself will sound promising, the fact that sales in this area are down 35% from a year ago tempers the positivity considerably.

More than a few industry experts believe that the worst may have passed for the GTA, especially following provincially-implemented policy changes restricting foreign buyers, but there’s a lack of anything tangible to bear out that optimism.

Similar Outcomes Elsewhere

The CREA expects sales in British Columbia and Ontario will show themselves to have fallen by 10% or so by the end of 2017, and of course that’s in comparison to record highs set in 2016.

Sales last month were down in nearly 2/3 of all local markets, led by the country’s most populated greater metro area – Greater Toronto and its nearby housing markets.

Meanwhile, out west in Vancouver, August sales were up 7.3% from July and 21.3% higher than where they came in a year ago. Given the ever-hot and fast moving nature of the market in the Lower Mainland, homebuyers are of course watching mortgage rates carefully. Recent interest rate increases are prompting some to make offers before the rates make the scheduled climb, but at the same time others are pulling back.

Housing prices, however, continue to climb and seem unaffected by the dip-in-sales trend, at least for now. The average price for a home sold last month was $472,247, which is up 3.6% compared to a year ago. Greater Toronto was up 3.1%, and Greater Vancouver came in at 17.9%.

The national average price excluding these 2 regions? $373,859.

That number is expected to be up 3.4% to $507,700 come the end of December, which is lower than the prior forecast and that’s in large part because of fewer luxury home sales in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

The projected 0.6% drop to $503,500 next year is expected to be a reflection of a record number of high-end home sales around Toronto earlier this year, but the fact that that likely won’t be repeated in 2018 is behind the drop.

Other Projections by Area

Newfoundland and Labrador sales this year are forecast to dip by 8.1%.

Saskatchewan should decline by about 4%.

Alberta is predicted to buck the trend, and projected to have Canada’s largest increase here at 7.4%. While that’s a plus for sure, it’s still below the provincial 10-year average.

Last but not least, sales are forecast to expand 5.4 % in Quebec and 5.7% in New Brunswick.

With all of this understood, we’ll of course have to wait and see if these predictions materialize. Should they do so, it will of course mean a bit of a downswing in the industry but as the old saying goes ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Put more into your prospecting efforts and apply yourself more stringently and you’ll be able to keep your earnings where they need to be.

Of course, signing up with Real Estate Leads here is a great idea to supercharge those efforts. You’ll receive qualified online-generated buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your exclusively-retained area / neighbourhood of your home province. From there, what you turn this opportunities into is up to you!