CREA (The Canadian Real Estate Association) released the official housing numbers this week, showing a combination of a decline in housing prices across the country but also a rise in sales with Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary leading the pack. The statement they released showed that housing prices across the country were down 0.5% than the same time last year. This means that across the entire country, the average home price is $369,677. Of course this number cannot be used as a benchmark in finding homes per se because individual cities and neighborhoods can vary greatly from this overall average.
The major cities throughout the country are actually experiencing higher home prices than this time last year. The slight decline that was reported CREA has a lot to do with the mix sales found within Toronto and Vancouver. Last year at this same time it appeared the home prices within the country had actually gone up but these statistics were skewed due to the phenomenal amount of high end homes sold within the city of Vancouver. The professionals within the market do not expect this same event to occur this year and skew the numbers once more.
It is important to understand that the Canadian Real Estate Association is not reporting a deflating real estate market. The reason behind the slight decline actually has to do with the mix of different homes for sale in many of the major cities. Instead of selling large numbers of high end homes, the mix has become vaster including average single family homes, condos, townhouses and low-end apartments as well. This new variation has lowered the average cost of homes throughout the country.
The home average of $369,677 of March 2012 was actually down from $373,000 from February of 2011; not a major decline at all when you see the numbers. The March 2012 number was also down from March of 2011 with the average home price being $371,591. The variance when displayed this way is quite small and certainly nothing to worry about; simply average discrepancies.
In total, 108,373 were bought and sold within the first 3 months of 2012. This number has actually marked a 5% increase over a 5 year average of the first quarter of the year. As the year progresses it will not be surprising to see this number grow, as more and more people restore their confidence in the real estate market of Canada.