Residential housing market in Canada is more or less flat, latest index suggests

Property sale in Canada increased marginally by 0.9% month on month in August while prices increased on average by 1% year on year to $475,500, the latest national index shows.

While sales activity is still running below levels in most other months going back to early 2014, around half of all local markets recorded an increase in sales from July to August, according to the index from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The index also shows that the national average price of $475,500 is heavily skewed by sales in the Greater Vancouver Area and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $94,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $382,000.

Nationally, growth was led by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), along with gains in Montreal and Edmonton but overall the new stress test on mortgage applicants introduced earlier this year continues to weigh on national home sales, according to the index report.

Apartments recorded the largest year on year price gains in August with a rise of 9.5%, followed by townhouse/row units up 4.3%, while one storey and two storey single family home prices were little changed, up 0.4% and down 0.4% respectively.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the index. Prices were up, however, by 4.1% in the Greater Vancouver Area, up 10.7% in Fraser Valley, up 8.5% in Victoria and up 13.6% on Vancouver Island, prices climbed 13.6%.

Among the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, prices were up year on year by 7.2% in Hamilton-Burlington, up 6.6% in the Niagara Region up 5.5% in Guelph, up 1.4% in the Greater Toronto area and fell by 2.7% in Barrie.

In the Prairies prices were down year on year by 2.2% in Calgary, by 2.1% in Edmonton, by 4.8% in Regina and by 2.3% in Saskatoon. Meanwhile, prices rose by 7.1% in Ottawa, by 5.9% in Greater Montreal and by 4.8% in Greater Moncton.