The Canadian Real Estate Association has released its national sales statistics for March of 2014, revealing that home sale activity across the country edged up 1% on a month-over-month basis. According to CREA, this increase “builds on the monthly gain of 0.6 per cent the previous month, but leaves activity closer to the low reached in January 2014 than to the most recent peak reached in August 2013.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.9% above levels reported in March of last year, with sales up in 60% of local markets. Despite this increase, actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was 8.2% below its 10-year average for the month of March. While sales improved in March, CREA’s Chief Economist noted that “we’ll have to wait and see what happens in April because while overall sales improved in March, there was little evidence of a flood of pent-up demand being released.” The slower start to the spring real estate market is partially attributed to the lingering winter weather Canada has experienced in the first quarter of 2014.
The number of newly listed homes increased by just 0.5%, and the national sales-to-new listings ratio, which stood at 52.5% in March, was little changed over the 52.3% reported in earlier months of this year. The number of months of inventory across Canada was 6.3 in March, compared to 6.4 in February and 6.5 in January. The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for a home sold in March was $401,419, which is a year-over-year increase of 6%. However, because the national average sales price can be affected by changes in sales activity, the MLS Home Price Index can provide a more accurate depiction of price trends. The Home Price Index in March rose 5.19% compared to the same month last year, with year-over-year price growth increases reported for all property types.
Two-storey single family homes and one-storey single family homes led the year-over-year price gains, with an increase of 5.97% and 5.47% respectively. Price increases for townhomes and row units were 4.09%, with apartment units following at 3.91%. Year-over-year price growth in the Home Price Index varied across local markets, with the largest gains reported in Calgary and the Greater Toronto Area.
According to CREA President Beth Crosbie, “sales in many housing markets continue to recover from winter’s deep freeze,” but added a reminder that “local and national housing market trends can be very different.” For current real estate market trends and news specific to Ottawa, make sure you speak with an experienced Realtor in the area.
For more details on the national March sales statistics, visit the CREA website. You can also contact us directly for more specific information about the Ottawa real estate market, or you can browse our website to find a sales representative who can help you.