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Canadian MLS sales down 14%

The number of homes sold through the Canadian multiple listing service plunged 14 per cent last month to the weakest level since July 2002. It was the steepest month-to-month decline since June 1994, the Canadian Real Estate Association said today.

The association added that the impact was heaviest in big cities - notably Toronto, which accounted for one-third of the national decline. Total major-market sales were down 15.1 per cent from September, and overall national sales were down 27 per cent from October of last year.

"The breadth and depth of the drop in MLS activity suggests a major downshift in consumer psychology," commented CREA economist Gregory Klump.

Seasonally adjusted residential MLS sales nationally numbered 32,048 in October, and the total dollar value of $9.1 billion was down 17.7 per cent from the previous month.

The average MLS home sale price was $281,133, a reduction of 9.9 per cent from October of last year.

"Canadian home sales look to have been one of the biggest casualties from the intense financial market turmoil in recent months," commented BMO Capital Markets economist Douglas Porter.

"Prices are now down from year-ago levels in four provinces, and it just so happens to be in the four largest provinces," Porter added. "With commodity prices in retreat, it seems likely that the resource-related booms in other provincial housing markets are poised to come to an abrupt end as well."

CREA'S Klump observed that many homebuyers across Canada "battened down the hatches" in October amid headlines about falling stock markets and a global economic downturn.

"Elimination of mortgage default insurance availability for purchases with less than a five per cent down payment and for amortizations beyond 35 years also likely played a lesser role in the decline in sales activity," Klump added.

BMO's Porter said October's sales weakness may be an overstatement, but "there is no doubt that Canada's housing market continues to soften markedly. We look for a further decline in sales and some further correction in prices in the year ahead, especially in the cities that had the biggest booms in recent years."

November 14, 2008 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink

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Comments

I have two apartments for sale:

14 unit Windsor ON, $490k
63 Unit Thunder Bay, $2.64m

details at: mshinvestments.com

Posted by: Matt | Dec 9, 2008 8:42:25 PM

maybe theres just a price adjustments on those places thats why MLS is down

Posted by: new condos toronto | Nov 26, 2008 4:36:28 AM

Don't be fooled, Clump is not a liar he is looking at the numbers and they don't lie. There may be the odd listing or neighbourhood that is still experiencing growth, however Clump is looking at the big picture. While 14% may decrease is not the case in downtown. As a Realtor who works in downtown Toronto, we can certainly see the added supply in listings due to low sales volumes and low consumer confidence it is certainly taking it's toll on pricing. A slight pricing adjustment is required in Toronto to get the inventory moving again.

Posted by: Carl Langschmidt | Nov 25, 2008 11:42:25 AM

I'm a home stager servicing the GTA. I would have to say that a significant portion of my clients, although much more budget conscious than 6 months ago, still understand that having their property professionally staged is a good investment, especially in a softer market.

Posted by: Toronto Home Stager | Nov 18, 2008 10:21:06 PM

Clump is liar,
House Prices in Oakville,Mississauga,Burlington are more expensive than last year.
I'm talking for semis only up to $ 350K.

Posted by: | Nov 18, 2008 12:06:21 AM

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