27 Jul

Home sales continue their descent in June

General

Posted by: Matt Dunstone

Wow has it been a crazy Spring and Summer market. Rising prices, low rates and everything is moving at the speed of light. Nice to see that the market is starting to slow a bit. Check out this great article below from our very own Economist. Its a great read.

Canadian Home Sales Continued Their Slowdown in June.

Today the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing national existing home sales fell 8.4% nationally from May to June 2021, marking the third consecutive monthly decline. Over the same period, the number of newly listed properties fell 0.7%, and the MLS Home Price Index rose 0.9%, a marked deceleration from previous months.

Activity nonetheless remains historically high, but in contrast to March’s all-time record, it is now running closer to levels seen in the first half of 2020. While sales are now down a cumulative 25% from their peak, and below every other month in the last year, June transactions still managed to set a record for that month (see chart below).

For the second month in a row, sales were lower in every province. The steepest drops were in B.C. (-14.6% m/m) and the Atlantic provinces (down a combined 9.8% m/m). In Ontario, sales fell 9.0% m/m. They posted a much smaller 1.9% m/m drop in Quebec.

June’s decline was helped along by stricter stress test rules implemented at the beginning of the month. We expect these rules to continue to weigh on demand in the near term, although the amount of tightening this time around (+46 bps) pales in comparison to early 2018 (+220 bps), the last time the rules were changed.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in June 2021 was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis.

“While there is still a lot of activity in many housing markets across Canada, things have noticeably calmed down in the last few months,” said Cliff Stevenson, Chair of CREA. “There remains a shortage of supply in many parts of the country, but at least there isn’t the same level of competition among buyers we were seeing a few months ago.”

New Listings

The number of newly listed homes edged back a slight 0.7% in June compared to May. In contrast to the past year’s synchronicity in demand and supply trends, the little-changed national new supply figure in June reflected a mixed bag of results, with about half of local markets seeing gains – welcome news for frustrated buyers.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 69.2% in June 2021, the lowest reading since last August. That said, the long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 54.6%, so it remains historically high; although, it has been steadily moderating since peaking at 90.8% back in January (see chart below).

Based on a comparison of sales-to-new listings ratio with long-term averages, more than half of all local markets were in balanced market territory in June, measured as being within one standard deviation of their long-term average. The was a significant shift compared to most of the past year which saw a majority of markets well into seller’s market territory.

There were 2.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of June 2021, up from 2.1 months in May and up from an all-time record-low of just 1.8 months in March. That said, it is still very much in sellers’ market territory. The long-term average for this measure is a little over 5 months.

Home Prices

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.9% month-over-month in June 2021, continuing the trend of decelerating month-over-month growth that began in March. That deceleration was initially seen more so on the single-family side; although, that trend is now also playing out in the townhome and apartment segments.

The non-seasonally adjusted Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up 24.4% on a year-over-year basis in June. Based on data back to 2005, this was another record year-over-year increase; although, given how price growth took off in July of last year, this June 2021 reading may end up being the peak for year-over-year growth.

Looking across the country, year-over-year price growth is averaging around 20% in B.C., though it is lower in Vancouver and higher in other parts of the province. Year-over-year price gains in the 10% range were recorded in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while gains are closer to 15% in Manitoba. Ontario is seeing an average year-over-year rate of price growth in the 30% range, however, as with B.C., gains are notably lower in the GTA and considerably higher in most other parts of the province. The opposite is true in Quebec, where Montreal is in the 25% range and Quebec City is in the 15% range. Price growth is running a little above 30% in New Brunswick, while Newfoundland and Labrador are in the 10% range.

Bottom Line

Since peaking in March, home sales are down 25% from the inferno levels early this year, but demand is still historically strong. Despite the steep pullback, seasonally adjusted sales are roughly 18% above pre-pandemic trends. When the economy opens fully and immigration resumes, the underlying fundamentals for housing demand will rise, especially as university students return to campus living, and adult children move into their own nests.

Sales activity will continue to gradually cool over the next year, but it will take higher interest rates to soften the housing market in a meaningful way.

Condo sales in markets such as Toronto and Vancouver have picked up from their pandemic lows in recent months. This is the polar opposite of what happened earlier in the pandemic, when sales of relatively expensive detached units dominated, raising average prices. Moving forward, if condos consume a rising share of the overall sales pie (perhaps through strong demand for these units, slowing sales of detached houses, or some combination of both), compositional effects could continue to weigh on average prices.

 

Published by DLC Chief Economist Dr Sherry Cooper

15 Jul

Are You Ready for Home Ownership?

General

Posted by: Matt Dunstone

Are You Ready for Home Ownership?.

While most people know the main things they need to buy a home, such as stable employment and enough money for a down payment, there are a few other factors that may help you realize you’re ready – perhaps even earlier than you thought! In fact, there are four main things that can help you determine if you are ready for home ownership:

You Can Afford Your Down Payment AND Ongoing Costs

It is easy for potential homeowners to get wrapped up in focusing on having enough money for the down payment and then forget about afterwards. It is important that you are not only financially able to afford the down payment, but that you can manage the monthly mortgage payments and ongoing maintenance as well. My Mortgage Toolbox app from Dominion Lending Centres has some great calculators to help you determine what you can afford on a monthly basis before you get in too deep. If you have enough funds in the bank for a down payment and are able to manage the monthly costs associated with the size and price range of home you would need, then you may be ready to start house-hunting!

You Have Good Credit

As most people know, credit score plays a major role in qualifying for financing to purchase a home. If you have a good credit score, which should now be at least 680 to qualify, then you have nothing to worry about! However, if your credit score is below this, it is more likely that you will be paying higher interest rates (and therefore have higher payments), or that you could be denied all-together. Before you begin your home buying journey, it is vital to have your credit score in order to ensure you can get the best mortgage product and rates. Working with a mortgage professional can help you get on the right track in the shortest time possible. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few subtle changes, or debt consolidation, to improve your credit score within a couple months.

No Other Large, Upcoming Expenses

Do you plan on buying two new vehicles in the next two years? Are you thinking of starting a family? Are you considering going back to school? Although you may think you can afford to purchase a home right now, it is vital to be honest about your future plans. What does your life look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? If you know that you aren’t planning on incurring big expenses that you need to factor into your budget anytime soon, then that’s something that may help you decide to buy a home.

Your are Disciplined

One of the most important factors for purchasing a home is budgeting. You have to know what you can afford – and stick with it! It is easy to be tempted by a gorgeous 6 bedroom home or a backyard pool or private community, but at what cost? If going all-in is going to leave you scrambling each paycheck or derail any plans of future financial stability, it is worth rethinking. Understanding what you NEED in a new home, versus what you WANT, is a good step towards determining what you’re looking for and planning a budget that suits your needs so that you can continue to live comfortably.

These are just four signs that you may be ready to purchase a home. If you’re seriously considering buying or selling, talking with a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional can help ensure you have the best experience when it comes to buying a home!

Written by my DLC Marketing Team