CREA: House prices falling month-over-month

Real estate prices in Canada have fallen for the third consecutive month, and 2017 is the first time in years that national prices have seen a decline, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The markets that have made the biggest gains over the past year are seeing the largest monthly drops. At the same time, cities that did not experience a boom are starting to see prices inch higher.

To be clear, house prices aren’t down year-over-year; instead, they are falling month-over-month, a trend that hit Ontario in the spring after the provincial government announced the rollout of its Fair Housing Plan.

According to CREA, aggregate prices are down from the month before, but remain in positive territory. The aggregate benchmark price (meaning the price of a typical home) across Canada’s urban centres reached $602,400, a 0.77% decline from the month before.

This represents an 11.25% increase when compared to the same time last year. CREA said the last time aggregate home prices saw a monthly drop was in 2013. This year, price declines have been observed three months in a row. This doesn’t necessarily imply that a crash is happening. Instead, most analysts believe the market is regaining its balance after intense and unpredictable climbs.

The biggest price drops were registered in Toronto and Southern Ontario. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), detached houses in the 905 were selling for $906,592 in August (slightly down from $910,348 in the previous month). Semi-detached homes were selling for $635,669 (slightly down from $636,844), townhouses for $582,953 (slightly up from $581,541), and condos for $416,081 (slightly down from $418,191).

According to CREA, the largest monthly price increases were in Saskatchewan. Saskatoon saw the composite benchmark drop to $316,700 in August, a 2.29% increase from the month before (although this represents a 0.28% decline from the same period last year).

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