The Conference Board of Canada reports that although sales were crimped nationally by tighter mortgage rules that came into effect in November, they vary widely from region to region. And in the case of Hamilton, prices will continue to experience upward pressure. Demand remains strong in Southern Ontario, while sales in Vancouver continue to cool, at least partly due to the foreign buyer’s tax. Alberta markets are levelling off. Montréal sales have eased, but remain decent.
Sales may be partially constrained by falling supply. Listings were below year-earlier levels in 24 of the 28 areas in January, and were down at least 5.per cent in 22 of these. Listing drops were particularly large in several Southern Ontario markets where supplies are tight.
The sales-to-listings ratio was up in 21 areas last month and also exceeded its year-earlier level in 21 markets. Sellers’ conditions prevailed in nine cities, including Toronto and its commuter shed, while 14 markets, including Vancouver, are balanced. Buyers’ conditions prevail in five markets.
Average prices rose in 14 cities last month, but plunged in Vancouver, partly due to reduced single-family activity. Price growth remains brisk across Southern Ontario and is picking up in several Quebec cities. Values remain soft on the Prairies.