IT Service Manager

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Function:
Manage the development, implementation, evaluation and on-going delivery of new and existing IT services in alignment with CREA’s strategy and Service and Product Roadmaps.

Reports to:
Director IT Services

Effective Date:
September 2014

The IT Service Manager

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Canadian home sales climb higher in August

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Mon, 09/15/2014 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2014– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity rose nearly two per cent from July to August 2014.

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2014– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity rose nearly two per cent from July to August 2014.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 1.8% from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.1% above August 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 1.2% from July to August.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.3% year-over-year in August.
  • The national average sale price also rose 5.3% on a year-over-year basis in August.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations rose 1.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis in August 2014, marking the seventh consecutive monthly increase, and the highest level for sales since January 2010.

Although activity rose in fewer than half of all local housing markets in August, the national tally was fuelled by monthly sales increases in Greater Vancouver, Calgary and Greater Toronto.

“Sales picked up in some of Canada’s most active and expensive real estate markets which fuelled another national increase,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “Even so, the national increase in sales does not reflect local trends in many markets across Canada. As always, all real estate is local and whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your local REALTOR® is your best source of information about the housing market where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in August stood 2.1 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. August sales were up from year-ago levels in just over half of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and Calgary.

“Sales activity in recent months has remained stronger than was anticipated earlier this year,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Listings and sales this spring were deferred due to unseasonably harsh weather, which subsequently supported activity once the delayed spring home buying season got into gear. This trend was reinforced by a decline in mortgage interest rates.”

“The boost from deferred sales is still expected to prove transitory,” continued Klump. “While national activity has yet to cool, sales were down from the previous month in the majority of Canada’s local markets, which may be early evidence that the transitory boost is fading. That said, low interest rates will continue to support housing affordability and sales activity.”

Year-to-date sales activity is up 4.3 per cent compared to the first eight months of 2013 and remains in line with the 10-year average for the period.

The number of newly listed homes fell 1.2 per cent in August compared to July. Led by Greater Toronto, new supply was down in about 60 per cent of local markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.5 per cent in August, up from 53.9 per cent in July. While this means the housing market became marginally tighter, it remains well entrenched within the range between 40 and 60 per cent that marks balanced territory.

Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in August. Of the remainder, more than half were sitting above the 60 per cent threshold that marks the border between balanced and seller’s market territory, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.8 months of inventory nationally at the end of August 2014, down from 6.0 months in May, June and July. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory remains well within balanced market territory but does point to a market that has become tighter in recent months.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.33 per cent on a year-over-year basis in August. This was unchanged compared to July and little changed from June. Year-over-year price growth in August picked up slightly for townhouse/row units and apartment units but slowed for one-storey single family homes and was unchanged for two-storey single family homes.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.32 per cent), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.59 per cent) and one-storey single family homes (+5.23 per cent). Price growth for apartment units remains comparatively more modest (+3.38 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among local housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months, the biggest gains were posted by Calgary (+9.83 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.82 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+5.01 per cent).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in August 2014 was $398,618, up 5.3 per cent from the same month last year.

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $324,738 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to 3.9 per cent.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Mon, 09/15/2014 – 08:55

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015.

Ottawa, ON, September 15, 2014 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015.

The deferral of sales and listings during an extraordinarily bleak winter delayed the start to the spring home buying season earlier this year. This deferral boosted activity in May and June as properties were snapped up after finally hitting the market, particularly in markets with a shortage of listings.

Although this boost was and still is expected to be transitory, sales have yet to show signs of cooling as activity strengthened slightly further over the summer. The increase reflects continuing strength in home sales among large urban markets that initially drove the spring rebound together with gains in markets where activity had previously struggled to gain traction. Lowered mortgage interest rates supported this trend.

Sales are now forecast to reach 475,000 units in 2014, representing an increase of 3.8 per cent compared to 2013. This is upwardly revised from CREA’s forecast of 463,400 sales published in June, and reflects stronger than expected sales in recent months. Even so, sales activity is expected to peak in the third quarter as the impact of a deferred spring dissipates and continuing home price increases erode housing affordability.

This would place activity in 2014 slightly above but still broadly in line with its 10-year average. Despite periods of monthly volatility since the recession of 2008-09, annual activity has remained stable within a fairly narrow range around its 10-year average. This stability contrasts sharply to the rapid growth in sales in the early 2000s prior to the recession. (Chart A).

British Columbia is forecast to post the largest year-over-year increase in activity (11.9 per cent) followed closely by Alberta (7.7 per cent). Demand in both of these provinces is currently running at multi-year highs.

Activity in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick is expected to come in roughly in line with 2013 levels, with sales increases ranging between one and two per cent in the first three provinces and edging lower by about one per cent lower sales in the latter two provinces. Sales in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador are projected to be down this year by 3.9 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.

Mortgage interest rates are expected to edge higher as Canadian exports, business investment, job growth, and incomes improve. These opposing factors should benefit housing markets where demand has been softer but prices have remained more affordable. Sales in relatively less affordable housing markets are likely to be more sensitive to higher fixed mortgage rates.

National activity is now forecast to reach 473,100 units in 2015, representing a decline of four tenths of one per cent. Sales activity is forecast to grow fastest in Nova Scotia (+3.3 per cent), followed by Quebec (+1.3 per cent) and New Brunswick (+1.3 per cent). Alberta is the only other province forecast to post higher sales next year (+1.0 per cent).

In other provinces, activity is forecast to decline in the range of between one and two per cent. In British Columbia and Ontario, this trend reflects eroding affordability for single family homes.

The national average price has evolved largely as expected since the spring, resulting in little change to CREA’s previous forecast.

The national average home price is now projected to rise by 5.9 per cent to $405,000 in 2014, with similar price gains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Increases of just below three per cent are forecast for Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador is forecast to see average home price rise by about one per cent this year, while Quebec is forecast to see an increase half that size.

Prices are forecast to be flat in New Brunswick and recede by almost two per cent and Nova Scotia. The national average price is forecast to edge up a further 0.7 per cent in 2015 to $407,900. Alberta and Manitoba are forecast to post average price gains of almost two per cent in 2015, followed closely by Ontario at 1.3 per cent. Average prices in other provinces are forecast to remain stable, edging up by less than one percentage point.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

 

Bank of Canada will keep interest rates low

Posted by & filed under CREA News.

Thu, 09/04/2014 – 14:45

The Bank of Canada announced on September 3rd, 2014 that it was holding its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1 per cent.

The Bank of Canada announced on September 3rd, 2014 that it was holding its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1 per cent.

The overnight rate has not moved in four years. It’s likely that it will remain where it is for some time yet.  Why?

  1. Inflation is on target — Inflation recently increased and is tracking close to the Bank’s 2 per cent target. However, the Bank believes the increase reflects temporary factors and cited evidence in support of this in its policy rate announcement. As a result, it does not see interest rate hikes as being necessary to rein it in. Instead, the Bank thinks inflation will keep itself in check as temporary factors dissipate.
  2. Uncertainty remains high — While the U.S. economic recovery appears to be back on track after a dismal first quarter, European economic growth has faltered due in part to its trade sanctions with Russia. This means low interest rates are still needed to support Canadian economic growth while questions marks loom about the outlooks for global economic growth, demand for Canadian exports, and Canadian economic growth.
  3. Canadian exports need help from the currency exchange rate —The Bank rate announcement noted that “Canadian exports surged in the second quarter”. The reasons cited were strengthening U.S. investment and “the past depreciation of the Canadian dollar”. Hiking interest rates too soon would result in a stronger loonie and dampened Canadian exports. The Bank is counting on stronger exports to lift business investment and economic growth.
  4. Higher exports have not yet translated into stronger investment or hiring:The Bank was pleased to see the pickup in exports but noted, “While an increasing number of export sectors appear to be turning the corner toward recovery, this pickup will need to be sustained before it will translate into higher business investment and hiring.” As such, interest rates will need to remain stimulative in order to entice firms into increased investment and hiring even if exports remain strong.

With these reasons in mind, interest rates are unlikely to rise in the near future.

One notable change in language in the September 3rd announcement was the removal of any references to a soft landing in the housing market. This Bank said that the housing market has in fact remained stronger than previously anticipated and that risks associated with household imbalances have “not diminished”.

That said, it is possible that stronger U.S. growth, a surge in exports, and the current strength of the housing market could all reflect a rebound from weak performances this past winter, which was unusually harsh.

As such, the Bank said that it remains “neutral with respect to the next change of its policy rate”, and will wait for new information as regards their outlook and assessment of risks to economic growth and inflation.

As of September 3rd, 2014, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.79 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on July 16th, 2014 and down 0.55 percentage points from the same time one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on October 22nd, 2014, and will be accompanied by an update to the Monetary Policy Report which contains the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, risks to its economic projections, and an update to its estimate for potential Canadian economic growth.  

 

(CREA 9/3/2014)