Canadian home sales rise by 0.9 per cent between July and August: CREA

By Tara Deschamps The Canadian Press

Mon., Sept. 17, 2018

However, August home sales simultaneously experienced a 3.8 per cent non-seasonally-adjusted year-over-year drop.

CREA attributed the drop to “major declines” in British Columbia real estate and stricter mortgage regulations that came into effect at the start of the year.

“Improving national home sales activity in recent months continues to obscure significant differences in regional trends for home sales and prices,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “Moreover, recent monthly sales increases are diminishing, which suggests the recent rebound may be starting to lose steam.”

Economists said the slowdown signals a shift away from the “wild swings” the real estate market saw in recent years as prices and demand for homes skyrocketed, often causing a frenzied pace for sales.

TD Economics economist Rishi Sondhi said, “While one month of data hardly makes a trend, August’s performance could be a sign that the worst is over for the province.

Meanwhile, BMO Capital Markets chief economist Douglas Porter called the housing market “a bit of a yawner, neither drastically hot nor desperately cold” in his note to investors.

“The outward calm masks some still-serious regional shifts beneath the placid surface,” he said, noting that measures aimed at cooling the B.C. market have resulted in some of the biggest sales declines in the country.

The Greater Vancouver Area saw a 36.7 per cent year-over-year non-seasonally-adjusted decrease in sales activity while Fraser Valley and Victoria saw 39.5 per cent and 17.6 per cent drops respectively, according to CREA.