Business

Home sales edge higher in June, with strong gains in Ontario, Quebec

The number of home sales in Canada edged up 0.3 per cent in June from the previous year, as strong markets in Toronto and Montreal offset declines in B.C., according to statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Canadian Real Estate Association notes sales and price declines in B.C. as supply outpaces demand

Home sales lagged in western provinces, but were offset by strong sales in Toronto and Montreal, according to CREA. (Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

The number of home sales in Canada edged up 0.3 per cent in June from the previous year, as strong markets in Toronto and Montreal offset declines in B.C., according to statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association. 

Sales were down 0.2 per cent from the previous month.

The MLS home price index rose 0.3 per cent from May, but was down 0.3 per cent on an annual basis.

The national average price for homes sold in June 2019 was just under $505,500, up 1.7 per cent from the same month in 2018.

Prices for the month were flat on Vancouver Island and in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Moncton and fell in the Greater Vancouver Area, the Fraser Valley and Okanagan. There is excess supply in these markets, as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there were price gains in Ontario markets, including Barrie, Hamilton, Niagara, Guelph, Ottawa and Toronto, as well as Montreal. The supply of houses continued to be tight, especially in the Greater Toronto area.

"There's a growing divergence in Canadian housing market trends between eastern and western Canada," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist.

"While sales activity in Canada's three westernmost provinces appears to have stopped deteriorating, it will be some time before supply and demand there becomes better balanced and the outlook for home prices improves."

Although the pace of home sales was near the 10-year average across Canada, activity remains well below levels recorded over much of 2015, 2016 and 2017, CREA said. This despite a tick downwards in mortgage rates.

"Moving forward, home sales will likely continue to trend higher in the second half, supported by a solid job market, strong population growth, low borrowing costs, further distance from past restrictive policies and supportive measures for first-time homebuyers," says TD economist Rishi Sondhi.