August housing activity well below potential peak—DLC’s Cooper

While August ended a four-month streak of declines, DLC says that Canadian housing activity continues to underperform

August housing activity well below potential peak—DLC’s Cooper
In a recent analysis on the broker network’s online portal, Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Dr. Sherry Cooper stated that the August numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revealed a national housing market still performing well below its potential.

The CREA data indicated a slight 1.3-per-cent growth in sales last month, which ended four consecutive months of declines. This was mainly driven by a significant 14.3-per-cent increase in Greater Toronto Area sales.

Cooper noted that lopsided performance on a national scale was evident in flat sales growth in all other Canadian markets apart from the GTA—and that even Toronto’s recent rally was just the “first monthly rise since the April announcement of the Ontario Fair Housing Policy.”

National activity remained 13.8 per cent below the record set in March 2017. In Ontario, the number of sales remained 36 per cent below the peak (reached in March as well) and 32 per cent below the levels a year ago.
“Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down nearly 10% year-over-year in August. Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and surrounding housing markets,” Cooper wrote.

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