A report released this week by the Canadian Real Estate Association mirrors one released by Redfin, a Seattle-based brokerage, particularly when it comes to the issues impacting the market.
Redfin outlined four factors that it expects to drive the American real estate market in 2015. Those include buyer demand, increased inventory, easier lending conditions and lower interest rates. North of the border, CREA reported a similar increase in inventory – listings were up 0.7 per cent month-over-month in January, while the sales-to-listings ratio was 49.7 per cent.
The lending environment, too, has benefitted from the Bank of Canada’s decision to slash the overnight rate by 25 basis points.
Buyer demand, meanwhile, remains strong in many of Canada’s markets, including Vancouver and Toronto, where sales were up eight and 5.3 per cent year-over-year, respectively, in January. However, oil values are playing a stronger part in Canada’s market, as sales declines of 28.2 per cent in Alberta and 21.9 per cent in Saskatchewan balanced increases in Ontario, British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces.
"Comparing sales activity for January this year to sales one year earlier, there was a fairly even split between the number of markets where sales were up versus the number of markets where sales were down," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist. "The decline in national sales largely reflects weakened activity in Calgary and Edmonton. If these two markets are removed from national totals, combined sales activity remained 1.9 per cent above year-ago levels."
For more information about CREA’s national sales data, click here
Real estate might be a hyper-local industry, but many markets have a lot in common – even those markets that are separated by international borders.