Driving home yesterday, I listened to the radio news reporting home sales were down 4% from June 2011. As I awaited clarification of just what stastics were being used, the reporter went on to another story!! Nothing about where? Nothing about sales volume or sale prices? No wonder people are confused. Calgary sales prices and sales volumes are both up this year, not down per the national averages. See the Herald article which fleshes out the more complete picture. You can’t reply on snipets of news stories. If you want to know what’s going on in our local real estate market, call someone like me who lives it daily!!!
Home sales in Calgary rise above national averages
Average sales of residential properties fell in June across Canada
By DINA O’MEARA, CALGARY HERALD July 16, 2012
CALGARY — Sales of homes in Calgary bucked a national trend of declining sales in June, increasing in volume and value, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association Monday.
The number of Canadian homes sold last month dropped more than four per cent from the level in June 2011, the first year-over-year decline in sales volume since April 2011, according to the association’s monthly report.
The national average home price in June was $369,339, down 0.8 per cent from the same month last year, CREA said.
In Calgary, single family benchmark prices rose 7.3 per cent year-over year in June to $430,800.
In the first half of 2012, a total of 257,193 homes traded hands over Canadian MLS Systems, up 4.7 per cent from the same period in 2011.
The statistics were decidedly different in Calgary, where the city’s strong economy saw residential sales jump 16 per cent during the first half of the year from the same period in 2011, said Bob Jablonski, chair of the Calgary Real Estate Board.
“We are finding the quality of the consumer here in Calgary, their earning power is very good and the stability is good,” Jablonski said Monday.
The rise contrasted a definite chill in nationwide numbers, year-over-year, the Canadian association said.
Condo apartment values in the city were relatively flat, up 1.5 per cent, with townhouse sales up 3.3 per cent, Jablonski said.
The national real estate association said prices increased in Calgary, remained strong in Toronto and continued to slow in Vancouver.
“Canada’s housing market lost a little altitude in June, but it’s still flying pretty high,” association president Wayne Moen said in a news release.
“That said, sales activity and average prices bucked the national easing trend in a number of markets, which underscores that all real estate is local,” Moen said.
Economists and consumers have been closely watching for signs that demand has softened to the point where prices will start going down.
Doug Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, noted about 70 per cent of Canada’s cities continued to report price increases despite the headline decline, with a median 1.9 per cent year-over-year rise among the 26 largest markets.
“Reports of the demise of price increases in Canadian housing have been greatly exaggerated, at least up to this point,” Porter said Monday in a statement. “What hasn’t been exaggerated are softer sales; the June swoon compares with an average seven per cent year-over-year rise in the first five months of 2012. The new, tighter mortgage insurance rules, which kicked in last week, will chill a market that had already seen 16 of 26 markets post June sales drops.”
New mortgage rules introduced in June by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty limits government-backed mortgage insurance to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million. Porter suggested the new 25-year amortization rate, down from 30 years, will simply “pull hard” an already closing door of the Canadian housing market.
With files from Canadian Press