Coming off a month of stronger sales activity, November's housing market returned to previous trends. Year-over-year monthly sales totaled 1,227 units, which is nearly three per cent lower than last year and 17 percent below long-term averages.
"November was the first full month with CMHC's new lending rules in effect," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "As suspected, the gains in last month's sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand."
While supply levels eased in November, the decline in sales resulted in a slight rise in months of supply. This caused benchmark home prices to contract even further. City-wide prices totaled $436,200 in November, a 0.6 percent decline over the previous month and nearly 4.1 percent below last year's levels.
Detached home prices totaled $498,300 in November, making it the first time since early 2014 that the monthly benchmark price dipped below $500,000. Despite this price change, the detached resale sector has still fared better than most of the high-density sectors, as it has not faced the same city-wide inventory pressure coming from the new home market.
Year-to-date detached sales have declined by three per cent compared to last year, but have also seen some modest improvements in recent months in the high end of the market, which is likely a byproduct of larger price adjustments.
"These monthly figures aren't a big surprise given the dynamics of our market right now," said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. "We've seen pockets of sales activity in certain areas, but also lots of months where the expectations between buyers and sellers just aren't matching up. November was one of those months."
"Again, it can't be overstated how important it is for housing consumers to keep asking questions and drilling down on what's happening in their specific area," adds Stevenson. "This kind of exploration and learning is how good real estate decisions get made in any market."