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

Just Posted

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

Career fair a success for many

700 job hunters visited the Black Press Extreme Education and career fair in Prince George Oct. 11

Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams, Nisga’a and Haisla commit to fight climate change internationally

First Nations launch Northwest Coast First Nations Collaborative Climate Initiative

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Most Read