Sales plateauing in most markets

As inventory levels drop in most markets, sales levels are beginning to level off, according to the latest data from the Conference Board of Canada, with the outliers remaining the red-hot markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

In its monthly Metro Resale Snapshot, the board reported only15 of the 28 areas reporting a monthly increase. Markets around Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe cooled in August, but B.C. markets continued to surge. Volumes in resource-dependent Saskatchewan and Alberta are weak.

The board said Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Saguenay and Saint John could expect falling MLS prices based on a year-over-year basis. Edmonton, however, could expect price gains in the range of zero to 2.9 per cent.

Listings were slightly firmer, rising in 18 markets in both month-over-month and year-over-year terms. Most increases remained small; only four areas had a monthly gain of at least 5 per cent—led by Thunder Bay’s 10 per cent jump.

The sales-to-listings ratio rose between July and August in 14 areas, led by a big jump in Trois-Rivières (although it remains in a buyers’ position). Regina, Saskatoon, Gatineau, Québec City, Sherbrooke, Saguenay, and Halifax also faced buyers’ conditions last month.

Outsized price growth continues in Ontario’s GTA and Southern British Columbia. Annual gains near or above 10 per cent were posted in Toronto, Oshawa, Hamilton, Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley in August.

“Keep an eye on things, we’re living in really interesting times now as far as the local real estate market goes. So if you can be patient, go for it and just see how things play out,” Josh Buchanan told CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning.He added that there is more risk attached to certain types of property.

“For condos, just about every category of condos, they’re in more of a territory where we should start to see a price correction, as well as the more luxury homes.”

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