Housing News


 

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RESIDENTIAL SALES JUMP IN SEPTEMBER 

Based on activity through the Regina and area MLS® System, homes sales in September substantially surpassed 2018 and were in line with historical averages for the month, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc. 

There were 306 sales reported during the month in all geographic areas, up 29.7% from 2018 when 236 sales were posted. This compared to the 5-year average of 302 and 10-year average of 311 sales. 

There were 253 sales reported in the city, an increase of 29.7% from 2018 when 195 were recorded. The number of sales in the city were very comparable with the 5-year average of 246 and 10-year average of 257. 

Year-to-date (YTD), 2,522 homes have been sold in all areas, up 3.7% over last year’s 2,431.

In the city, 2,086 sales have been posted, up 6.6% from 2018’s 1,957. 

For September, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), a much more accurate measure of housing price trends than average or median price, reported a Composite Benchmark Price of $266,800 and index of 244.9 in the city, down 3.9% from $277,500 one year ago. This reflects a general downward trend, indicating downward pressure on home prices due predominately to elevated supply levels and lower levels of demand. 

The Composite Benchmark Price is down 11.2% from three years ago and 9.5% from five years ago. The HPI measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, with the index set at a base of 100 for January 2005. Total dollar sales volume in all areas was $96.6M, an increase of 35.6% from 2018’s $71.3M. Year-todate dollar volume of $761.6M is now up 2.6% from 2018’s $742.3M. 

In the city, there were 1,465 active residential listings for sale on the market at the end of September, down from 1,560 one year ago.

There were 491 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, a decrease of 2.0% from 501 last year.

YTD, new listings of 5,491 are down 9.1% from 6,041 in 2018. There were 369 listings posted in the city, compared to 400 last year – a decrease of 7.8%. YTD, new listings in the city are down 9.8 % - 4,194 this year compared to 4,650 in 2018. 

The ratio of sales to new listings for the month was 68% in the city and 62% all geographic areas. 

Balanced market conditions are generally in the 40-60% range – below 40% is considered to be more of a buyer’s market - above 60% is considered to be a market favouring sellers. “We were pleasantly surprised with the number of sales which took place during the month. It is the first month in a few years where we saw this level of increase taking place over the previous year. 

Upticks in economic and job growth are beginning to stimulate demand. We are hoping this will continue for the remainder of the year”, said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc. “With prices being at their lowest point in many years and plenty of choice on the market, there has been no better time for a buyer to purchase a home” concluded Archibald. 

The Association operates the Multiple Listing Service® System in Regina and area. The MLS® System is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties for sale.

 

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The recent federal Budget proposed a series of incentives that demonstrates the government’s commitment to housing affordability, and CMHC is proud to take a leading role in many of them. We know that you’re particularly anxious for details regarding the new First-Time Home Buyers Incentive (FTHBI).

Affordable home ownership is a pressing concern for many young Canadians. This program was designed to help you without undoing the progress we’ve already made through measures that prevent excessive borrowing and limit house price inflation.

Like other Budget incentives, the proposal requires some government approvals. We also plan to consult with lenders and other industry participants to make sure the program works as intended.  As a result, we still have work to do. While we can’t yet share all program specifics, we can nonetheless elaborate on the program’s intent and some of the rationale behind its design.

A partner for your home purchase

The FTHBI is a program that will assist qualified first-time home buyers without adding financial burden. As there are no monthly payments, it will free up income to pay for other everyday expenses.  Unlike some of the other assistance programs tried in the past, the FTHBI will also require borrowers to meet minimum insured mortgage down payment requirements, ensuring they are invested in their purchase.

Supply measures moderate price growth. By doubling the incentive for purchasers of new homes, it encourages new supply to meet housing demand.

Indeed, by helping first-time home buyers purchase homes, we will free up rental supply, easing pressure on rents. This, along with the expanded Rental Construction Financing program, will add to the supply of affordable rental housing. Core housing need is four times higher among renters among homeowners. (26.4% versus 6.5%)

Targeted to avoid increasing house prices

We have carefully targeted the FTHBI to help younger Canadians having trouble affording home ownership. The program is capped at $1.25 billion over three years. The incentive will be limited to households with a maximum combined income of $120,000 and total borrowing is limited to four times income.

We do not expect the FTHBI’s inflation effect to be beyond a maximum of 0.2-0.4 per cent.

Limiting house price inflation will keep housing more affordable, more so than some of the other suggested policy and regulatory changes. For example, a reduction of one per cent in the mortgage insurance stress test or an extended amortization limit of 30  years would have added to indebtedness and resulted in house price inflation of five to six times more than this maximum.

Available throughout Canada

Despite the income and borrowing limits, we are confident this program can work in all markets, including Vancouver and Toronto. The average insured home in Canada is worth $284,000, less than the national average house price of $470,000 and this program applies up to a house price of $505,000, assuming a 5% down payment. However, we shouldn’t confuse market average prices ($1 million in Vancouver and $770,000 in Toronto) with starter home prices.

It may not be a condo in Yaletown or a house in Riverdale, but there are options in both metropolitan areas to accommodate this program. In fact, around 23% of transactions in Toronto are for homes under $500,000 and 10% in Vancouver. It is very difficult to estimate the demand for the Incentive; however, based on last year’s activity — more than 2,000 home buyers in Toronto would have been eligible for the FTHBI and over 1,000 in Greater Vancouver.

Stay tuned

We will release more details as soon as we can and we expect the program to be operational this September.




The REALTOR® Code

CREA’s REALTOR® Code has been the measure of professionalism in organized real estate for over 40 years. The first code was approved in 1913; members approved the first code of ethics specific to CREA members in 1959. The Code has since been amended many times to reflect changes in the real estate marketplace, the needs of property owners and the perceptions and values of society.


A REALTOR’s® ethical obligations are based on moral integrity, competent service to clients and customers, and dedication to the interest and welfare of the public. The REALTOR® Code, by setting high standards of professional conduct for REALTORS®, helps to protect Canadians’ rights and interests. It also creates a level of trust between REALTORS® and their clients.


 Download the REALTOR® Code (PDF).


A STRICT STANDARD OF CONDUCT


The REALTOR® Code establishes a standard of conduct, which in many respects exceeds basic legal requirements. This standard ensures the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of real estate services. As a condition of membership, all REALTORS® agree to abide by the Code.


Key items of the Code include:


  1. REALTORS® must disclose in writing whom they are representing as an agent in the transaction, and explain to parties in a transaction the details of the agency relationship; and
  2. REALTORS® can’t acquire an interest in property (either directly or indirectly) without disclosing the fact that they’re real estate professionals.


THE CODE AND THE LAW


The REALTOR® Code establishes obligations that may be higher than those mandated by law. However, in any instance where the code and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.

Courtesy of: Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) CREA.CA

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Shirley MacFarlane
Shirley MacFarlane
Salesperson
461 Broad Street N. Regina SK S4R 2X8