Housing News


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December 4, 2019 

HOME SALES TAKE DIP IN NOVEMBER 

Based on activity through the Regina and area MLS® System, homes sales in November were well below both last year and long-term averages, said the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc. 

There were 166 sales reported during the month in all geographic areas, down 27.5% from 229 in 2018. This compared to the 5-year average of 238 and 10-year average of 252 sales. This is the lowest number of sales in the last 15 years for the month. 

There were 145 sales reported in the city, a decrease of 21.2% from 2018 when 184 were recorded. The number of sales in the city was also below the 5- year average of 194 and 10-year average of 210. 

For the year-to-date, 2,943 homes have been sold in all areas, up 1.0% over last year’s 2,915. In the city, 2,433 sales have been posted, up 3.3% from 2018’s 2,356. 

For November, 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 $259,600 and index of 238.3 in the city, down 5.5% from $274,800 one year ago. This reflects a general downward trend, indicating downward pressure on home prices due to the combination of less demand for economic reasons and the federal mortgage stress test, which has taken many buyers out of the market.

 The Composite HPI Benchmark Price is down 12.2% from three years ago and 11.2% from five years ago. The HPI Composite price is now at its lowest since being adopted by the association in 2012. 

Total dollar sales volume in all areas was $46.6M, a decrease of 32.1% from 2018’s $68.7M. Year-todate dollar volume of $885.3M is identical to 2018. 

In the city, there were 1,299 active residential listings for sale on the market at the end of November, down from 1,395 one year ago. 

There were 341 new listings placed on the MLS® System during the month in all geographic areas, a decrease of 12.8% from 391 last year.

 Year-to-date, new listings of 6,313 is down 9.4% from 6,969 in 2 2018.

 There were 291 new listings posted in the city, compared to 309 last year – a decrease of 5.8%. Year-to-date, new listings in the city are down 9.8 % - 4,868 this year compared to 5,397 in 2018. 

The ratio of sales to new listings for the month was 49% in the city and 48% in 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. 

“The number of sales taking place in November was certainly discouraging. After a few encouraging months in the earlier fall, it was a surprise for such a pronounced dip to occur. Demand, and in turn the number of sales, has been affected during the year by economic factors and the federal mortgage stress test, which has put many potential buyers on the sidelines. The mortgage stress test has had a significant impact on the local market and in our view was not needed here,” said Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc. 

“Sellers continue to be advised to set their asking price for these conditions. Buyers should make sure they qualify for mortgage financing before beginning a home search. Prices are at their lowest level in many years and there is plenty of choice in the market for anyone looking for 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. 

 For more information, contact: Gord Archibald, Chief Executive Officer 306-791-2706 GArchibald@ReginaREALTORS.com

Trademark owned or controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association. 

Used under license. 

 

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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