Housing stats suggest agents in for a busy season

by Justin da Rosa17 May 2017
With the Canadian Real Estate Board releasing its most interesting statistics in quite some time, big banks hone in on the big stories that will impact agents.

Home resales may have levelled off in April, but it’s the uptick in listings that was the big story, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

“The more noteworthy market development in April was a sharp 10% rise in new listings in Canada, thereby representing the third significant increase in a row,” Robert Hogue, senior economist with RBC, wrote in a report. “Once again, it was Ontario (where new listings surged by 21.6% from the March level) that accounted for most of this increase.

“Within Ontario, the Toronto area saw an all-time high of 18,318 properties added to the for-sale inventory in April, or close to 5,000 more units than the monthly average during the past three years.”

Sellers – many of whom sat on the sidelines, content to ride out ever-increasing home appreciation – have now come out of the woodwork to list their homes.

And that means agents have more business opportunities in some markets.

TD Bank also made note of the uptick in listings in its own report.

“Canadian existing home sales fell 1.7% in April from record level set in the previous month, but remain still fairly elevated,” Diana Petramala, TD economist, wrote. “The bigger mover was a 10% increase in listings in the month, which helped bring down the sales-to-listings ratio to 60.1 from 67.3 in the prior month. While the market tightness eased substantially last month, the Canadian market as a whole is still in seller's territory, albeit marginally.”

However, while listings may have been up in some major markets, a softening of demand from buyers was felt in Toronto due to last month’s housing policy announcement.

“The GTA weakness in April may have also been driven to buyers moving to the sidelines due to policy uncertainty as the Ontario government plans to implement new policy measures was anticipated well before the April 20th announcement,” Petramala wrote.


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