Sales are down. Prices are up. A third into the year, and the market is unfolding close to how some have envisioned. However, for CREB’s vision of a 19.9% surge in SFH sales and a 15.8% increase in condo sales in 2011 to come to fruition requires that this market better start gaining traction soon.
April SFH sales totaled 1217, down 10% from the previous month and from April 2010. Year-to-date, sales are slightly trailing last years levels (-0.2%) But bear in mind that 2010 was also the lowest sales in a decade.
Condo sales aren’t looking any prettier. In April, a total of 535 units changed hands. That’s down -7.9% from last month and down -16.7% from last April. Year-to-date, condo sales are down -12.6% from the same time period last year.
Not everything is bleak though. There are other factors that are helping stabilize the market. SFH inventory is down nearly 12% from last April – that translates to almost 600 fewer homes on the market. This means that the inventory absorption rate of 3.6 for April is still in “balanced” market territory with neither sellers or buyers having a substantial advantage. (An interesting sidenote: Unoccupied listings are higher than this time last year, even though total inventory is down)
There are also 18% less condo units on the market compared to the end of April 2010, resulting in an inventory absorption rate of 3.7 – again, “balanced”.
Prices have been fluctuation wildly the past couple months. If you’ve been following this blog, you’d understand that the low prices reported in March were caused by more “marginal” buyers jumping into the market before the mortgage rule changes.
Similarly, prices dropped last April when that round of rule tightening came into effect. The following month, sales were lower while prices jumped about $23k higher.
And it’s the same story this year. SFH average prices in April surged over $16,000 to approx $480,000 while sales weakened.