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September Housing Data Suggests Downturn Has "longer to run"

Home prices continued to fall in September, marking the seventh consecutive month of declines, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

In seasonally adjusted terms, prices were down 1.4% from August, but remain 3.3% above year-ago levels, CREA reported.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) price stood at $640,479 in September. That’s up 0.4% from August, but down 6.6% from a year ago.

Home sales fell another 3.9% on a monthly basis, although CREA notes the month-over-month declines have been progressively smaller from May through August. Sales are now down 32% from a year ago.

“September was another month of lower sales activity, although, with many sellers also opting to play the waiting game, the market remains on the tighter side of balanced market territory,” said CREA chair Jill Oudil. “It makes for an interesting dynamic, one that doesn’t really have many historical precedents.”

New listings were down another 0.8% month-over-month, building on the 6.1% and 49% declines posted in July and August, respectively, CREA noted, “as some sellers appear content to stay on the sidelines until more buyers are ready to get back into the market.”

Months of inventory continued to improve slightly, rising to 3.7 months. That’s up from 3.5 in August and a record low of 1.6 earlier this year.

Ontario once again felt the brunt of home price declines, followed to a lesser extent by British Columbia, CREA noted. It also noted that prices are “sliding sideways” in Prairie cities like Calgary, Regina and Edmonton, while price softness in the Atlantic region is now showing in parts of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Removing the high-priced markets of the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, the average price stands at $523,479.

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