Posted by & filed under CREA.

Fri, 03/13/2015 – 08:58

Ottawa, ON, March 13, 2015 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2015 and extended it to 2016.

The further decline in oil prices since CREA’s last forecast has shaken consumer confidence in the Prairies, pushing potential homebuyers to the sidelines and prompting more homeowners to put their home on the market. This has led to a rapid shift in market balance in Alberta, and to a lesser extent, Saskatchewan. Annual sales in these provinces are expected to come in well below elevated levels posted last year, with small declines in average residential prices in 2015.

Additionally, the Canadian dollar has weakened further against the U.S. dollar, mortgage rates have declined and the U.S. economy has strengthened since CREA’s last forecast, which taken together are expected to benefit economic and job growth in other provinces. Accordingly, CREA has upwardly revised its forecast for sales activity for much of the rest of the country.

The balance between supply and demand continues to tighten in British Columbia and Ontario. These are the only two provinces where tight supply relative to demand is expected to result in average price gains that surpass inflation this year.

By contrast, average prices in Quebec and the Atlantic region are expected to remain relatively stable, as sales deplete elevated levels of supply.

On balance, the forecast for national sales has been revised lower, reflecting downward revisions to the outlook for sales in Alberta. National sales are now projected to reach 475,700 units in 2015, representing an annual decline of 1.1 per cent. This would place annual activity slightly above but still broadly in line with its 10-year average (Chart A).

British Columbia is projected to post the largest annual increase in activity in 2015 (+4.9 per cent) followed closely by Nova Scotia (+3.7 per cent), Quebec (+2.5 per cent), New Brunswick (+2.5 per cent), Ontario (+1.9 per cent), and Prince Edward Island (+1.4 per cent). These numbers represent upward revisions to CREA’s previous forecast.

Alberta is expected to post the largest annual decline in sales this year (-19.2 per cent), though the trend for activity is expected to begin recovering from a weak start to the year as consumer confidence recovers. Sales are also forecast to decline on an annual basis in Saskatchewan (-11.2 per cent), and Manitoba (-2.2 per cent).

The national average home price is now forecast to rise by two per cent to $416,200 in 2015. Only British Columbia (+3.4 per cent) and Ontario (+2.5 per cent) are forecast to see gains in excess of the national increase.

Prices are projected to remain largely stable elsewhere, with increases or decreases of around one per cent or less this year. The exception is Alberta, where average price is forecast to fall by 3.4 per cent, reflecting a pullback in sales for luxury properties compared to homes in more affordable price segments.

In 2016, national sales activity is forecast to reach 482,700 units, representing an annual increase of 1.7 per cent. Much of the annual increase reflects an anticipated recovery for sales activity in Alberta and Saskatchewan in line with expected economic improvement in those provinces.

Strengthening economic prospects are expected to result in improving sales activity in other provinces where sales have struggled, keeping prices more affordable amid ample supply. Meanwhile, anticipated mortgage rate increases are expected to keep activity in check in markets where homes are already less affordable and prices have continued rising.

The national average price is forecast to rise by a further 1.9 per cent to $424,100 in 2016. Given an ongoing shortage of supply for single family homes in and around the Greater Toronto Area, price growth in 2016 is forecast to be strongest in Ontario (+2.5 per cent) and Alberta (+2.4 per cent).

Gains of around two per cent are forecast for British Columbia and Manitoba, and around one per cent for Saskatchewan and Quebec. Average home price in the Atlantic region is forecast to hold steady in 2016.

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About The Canadian Real Estate Association
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 real estate Brokers/agents and salespeople working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

 

Posted by & filed under CREA.

Thu, 03/05/2015

The Bank of Canada announced on March 4th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. Six weeks earlier, the Bank surprised markets by cutting the rate by a quarter of a percentage point as insurance against economic damage from the drop in oil prices.

The Bank of Canada announced on March 4th, 2015 it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 0.75 per cent. Six weeks earlier, the Bank surprised markets by cutting the rate by a quarter of a percentage point as insurance against economic damage from the drop in oil prices.

In its March announcement, the Bank was upbeat about recent and further expected strength from exports and investment. Only time will tell to what extent these factors offset economic fallout from lower oil prices, so speculation remains as to whether the Bank will cut interest rates again later this year.

As of March 4th, 2015, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.74 per cent, down 0.05 percentage points from the previous Bank rate announcement on January 21st, and down 0.25 percentage points from one year ago.

The Bank’s next interest rate announcement is on April 15th, when it also releases its updated economic forecast. At that time and barring some unforeseeable economic calamity, it will keep rates steady rather than cutting them further.

(CREA 03/04/2015)

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Mon, 08/18/2014 – 16:00

August 18, Ottawa, ON

Beginning on October 23rd, a new .REALTOR top-level-domain (TLD) will be made available to members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in Canada, and members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in the U.S.

Beginning on October 23rd, a new .REALTOR top-level-domain (TLD) will be made available to members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in Canada, and members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in the U.S.

The majority of homebuyers begin their searches online, and a .REALTOR TLD will allow members of CREA to stand out from other real estate professionals. It will also ensure consumers know they are dealing with licenced real estate professionals who adhere to CREA’s Code of Ethics.

“We are excited to offer this new and unique branding opportunity to our members,” said Beth Crosbie, president of CREA. “A .REALTOR domain communicates the positive attributes of trust, professionalism and community that consumers associate with the REALTOR® name.”

The new .REALTOR TLD will be made available to Canadian REALTORS®, their local boards and their provincial associations through an agreement that CREA has entered into with NAR.

National Association of Realtors® began the TLD application process eight years ago through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that coordinates domains and Internet Protocol addresses globally. CREA is NAR’s exclusive marketing partner and responsible for the .REALTOR domain in Canada.

“NAR is one of the first associations that has been approved to offer a TLD exclusively for its membership, demonstrating our organization’s commitment to its members and showcasing the value of the REALTOR® brand,” stated Steve Brown, president of NAR. “When consumers visit a .REALTOR website, they will know that they have reached a source of comprehensive and accurate real estate information, as well as someone with unparalleled insight into the local market.”

CREA will provide the first 10,000 members who register for a .REALTOR TLD with a free one-year licence on a first-come first-served basis.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate boards and associations.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate” is America’s largest trade association representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Fri, 08/15/2014 – 09:10

Ottawa, ON, August 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent in July 2014 from the previous month.

Ottawa, ON, August 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent in July 2014 from the previous month.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.8% from June to July.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was 7.2% higher than July 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.4% from June to July.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.3% year-over-year in July.
  • The national average sale price rose 5.0% on a year-over-year basis in July.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 0.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis in July 2014, marking the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for sales since March 2010.

Sales activity rose in about 60 per cent of all local housing markets in July, led by gains in Victoria, Winnipeg, London and St. Thomas, and Ottawa together with broadly-based increases in Quebec and New Brunswick.

“On the surface, national sales activity in July was similar to what we saw in May and June,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That said, July sales picked up in markets that struggled to gain traction in the spring, while activity eased slightly in some of Canada’s largest urban markets. As always, all real estate is local and whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your local REALTOR® is your best source of information on all the factors driving the market where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in July stood 7.2 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. July sales were up from year-ago levels in about 70 per cent of all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, the Okanagan region, Calgary, Winnipeg, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, London and St. Thomas, and Ottawa.

For the year-to-date, sales activity is up 4.7 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2013 and in line with the 10-year average for the period.

The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.4 per cent in July compared to June. The number of markets where new listings rose was equal to the number where they declined. Regina, Winnipeg, Greater Toronto, Windsor-Essex, Ottawa and Montreal posted the biggest monthly increases in new listings, which offset fewer new listings in Fraser Valley, Calgary and Fredericton.

New listings and sales activity trends have closely tracked each other since February. Many new listings have come on stream in markets with tight supply and continuing demand. As a result, the strength of sales in recent months likely reflects how many properties were snapped up once they finally hit the market following the harsh winter that caused sales and new listings to be deferred.

“Low mortgage interest rates continue to bolster home sales activity,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “With the Bank of Canada widely expected to hold interest rates steady until next year, mortgage financing will remain attractive over the second half 2014 and continue to support Canadian economic growth while waiting for Canadian exports and investment to improve.”

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 per cent in July, little changed from 53.4 per cent June and 53.2 per cent in May. This remains firmly entrenched within the range from 40 to 60 per cent that marks balanced market territory. The ratio has remained within short reach of its current level for more than four years, averaging 52.6 per cent since the beginning of 2010.

Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in July. Of the remainder of markets, more than half were sitting above the 60 per cent threshold that marks the border between balanced and seller’s market territory, many of which are found in Alberta and Southern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 6.0 months of inventory nationally at the end of July 2014. This is unchanged from May and June and about half of a month lower compared to where this measure stood at the beginning of the year. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory continues to suggest that Canadian housing markets generally remain well-balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.33 per cent on a year-over-year basis in July. This was little changed from the 5.40 per cent increase recorded in June. Price growth accelerated slightly for single family homes and townhouse/row units while year-over-year growth in apartment prices slowed.

Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.32 per cent), followed closely by one-storey single family homes (+5.47 per cent) and townhouse/row units (+5.33 per cent). Price growth for apartment units was comparatively more modest (+3.18 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among local housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months, the biggest gains were posted by Calgary (+10.48 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.88 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+4.44 per cent).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2014 was $401,585, up five per cent from the same month last year.

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $327,988 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to four per cent.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

Posted by & filed under Market Statistics.

Kelowna, BC – The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported July sales activity of all MLS® property types was up 30% compared to the same month in 2013 – posting the strongest unit sales for July on record since 1980. “Month-over-month, the Okanagan-Shuswap housing market continues to remain strong as we make steady strides toward recovery,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President and active REALTOR® in the North Okanagan. “Renewed consumer confidence has boosted demand as buyers return to mid and higher end homes, and sellers who had given up are trying again with more success.”

Here is what’s selling at what price range compared to last year: Big spike upwards all the way from $400k – $1M. Things are picking up thats for sure!July 2014 - Whats selling at what price

 

Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): During July, overall sales in the Central Zone were up 24.0% — to 584 units from 471 in 2013. Total residential sales for the month improved 25.7% to 543 units compared to 432 last year at this time. The sale of single family homes was up 26.2% over July 2013 (to 279 from 221).

The 937 new listings taken in the Central Okanagan during the month saw a 2.4% rise compared to 915 in 2013, and total inventory was reduced by 13.9% to 3.969 units from 4,611 last July.

In summary, there are almost 26% more homes selling this year and more NEW listings but overall the inventory is almost 14% less than last year.  It is always wise to consult a professional REALTOR(R) when seeking information on home statistics – we live in an ever-changing marketplace so it is very important to keep up to date.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at 778-214-1773.

Talk to you soon,

Marika

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Wed, 07/16/2014 – 16:50

The Bank of Canada announced on July 16th, 2014 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1 per cent.

 

The Bank of Canada announced on July 16th, 2014 that it was keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate at 1 per cent.

The overnight rate has not moved in almost four years, and the Bank’s July announcement and accompanying Monetary Policy Report (MPR) suggest the most likely scenario right now is that the overnight rate will remain parked where it is for at least another year and a half.

That said, the Bank made clear that it was “neutral” with respect to not only the timing but also the direction of any future change to the policy rate. The Bank is taking a wait and see approach at this point, saying that any future moves “will depend on how new information influences the outlook and assessment of risks.”

With inflation having “moved up to the 2 per cent target in recent months, sooner than expected,” talk of a rate cut has all but gone away; however, the Bank attributes the recent rise in inflation to temporary effects, specifically higher energy prices, a lower Canadian dollar, and other sector-specific shocks rather than to any change in domestic economic fundamentals.

As such, headline inflation is expected to continue to bounce around in the 2 per cent range over the next two years, while under the surface there will be a symmetrical unwinding as the temporary effects currently pushing it up gradually fade away and the economic fundamentals currently holding it down, namely slack in the economy and elevated retail competition, also become less of a factor.

The Bank noted that global economic growth has been on a lower track than was forecast in the April MPR, and the forecast for global growth has been lowered accordingly, specifically this year but also for next year. The forecast for Canadian economic growth has likewise been trimmed from the 2 ½ per cent range this year and next to 2 ¼ per cent on average this year and next and into 2016 as well.

As a result, the economy is now not expected to get back to full capacity until mid-2016 compared to the April MPR’s prediction of early 2016. As such, bets on when the first interest rate hike could come will likely be pushed from mid-2015 to later in the year and possibly even into early 2016. The bottom line is, once again, interest rates will be lower for longer.

The Bank still expects that “the lower Canadian dollar and a projected strengthening in global demand will lead to a pickup in Canadian exports and business investment and, eventually, a more sustainable growth track,” although this may take a little longer than expected to materialize with the Canadian dollar having recently popped back up a bit and the forecast for global growth, and particularly growth in the U.S., having been downgraded.

The Bank also re-iterated that “household imbalances continue to evolve constructively and recent data are broadly consistent with a soft landing in Canada’s housing market.”

As of July 16th, 2014, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.79 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on June 4th, 2014 and down 0.35 percentage points from the same time one year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on September 3rd, 2014.

(CREA 7/16/2014)

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Tue, 07/15/2014 – 09:00

Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2014-According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014.

Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2014-According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014.

Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.8% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11.2% above June 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from May to June.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 6.9% on a year-over-year basis in June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.4% year-over-year in June.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 0.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for sales since March 2010.

Sales rose in about half of all local housing markets in June, led by gains in Greater Vancouver where activity hit its highest level in more than three years, and Montreal where activity is now 10 per cent above post-recession lows reached earlier this year.

“Sales have improved compared to their slower start earlier this year,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That said, there are still important differences in how housing markets are faring depending on location, housing type and price point. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your local REALTOR® is your best source of information on all the factors driving the market where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June stood 11.2 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. June sales were up from year-ago levels in three out of every four local markets, led by Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington.

The number of newly listed homes was little changed in June, having eased by 0.1 per cent compared to May. In May, new listings reached their highest level since April 2010. On an actual (not seasonally adjusted) basis, new listings set a record for the month of June.

“At least some of the recent burst in new supply reflects the slow start to the year, when a harsh winter caused many sellers to delay listing their home in many parts of the country,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In markets with tight supply and strong demand, the strength of sales in recent months reflects how many properties were snapped up once they finally hit the market. Because the impact of deferred listings and sales has likely run its course, activity over the second half of the year may not be able to maintain the kind of pace we’ve seen over the past couple of months.”

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 per cent in June, up slightly from 53.2 per cent in May but still well entrenched within the range between 40 and 60 per cent that marks balanced market territory. Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in June, with a fairly even split among the remainder between those in buyer’s market and seller’s market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The number of months of inventory has firmed since the beginning of 2014. There were 6.0 months of inventory nationally at the end of June 2014. This was unchanged from May but half a month below where it stood at the beginning of the year. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory continues to suggest that housing markets remain generally well-balanced.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up by 5.40 per cent year-over-year in June following slower price gains in April and May. Price growth picked up in all Benchmark categories tracked by the index. (Chart B)

Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.19 per cent), followed closely by one-storey single family homes (+5.35 per cent) and townhouse/row units (+5.07 per cent). Price growth for apartment units remained comparatively more modest (+3.85 per cent).

Year-over-year price growth varied among local housing markets tracked by the index, with the biggest gains having been posted by Calgary (+10.74 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.77 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+4.37 per cent). (Table 1)

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2014 was $413,215, up 6.9 per cent from the same month last year.

The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $336,164 while the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5.2 per cent.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Web Developer

Wed, 07/09/2014 – 09:39

FUNCTION:
The Web developer participates in the design, development, and testing of web applications using  .NET technologies, SQL, XML, HTML etc.

REPORTS TO:
Manager Application Development

RESPONSIBILITIES:

read more

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

FUNCTION:
The Systems Analyst supports the creation, development and enhancement of CREA’s IT-based Services by detailing and documenting requirements; designing component solutions; and, taking a lead role in releases of new or enhanced CREA applications.
 
REPORTS TO:
Associate Director, IT

RESPONSIBILITIES:

read more

Posted by & filed under CREA, Uncategorized.

Mon, 06/16/2014 – 08:59

Ottawa, ON, June 16, 2014 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has updated its forecast for home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations for 2014 and 2015.

Extraordinarily bleak winter weather made for a slow start to 2014 national sales activity. As the first quarter ended, sales momentum heading into spring was constrained by a continuing shortage of listings in a number of local markets. The rise in newly listed properties in April and May supported an increase in sales activity.

The deferral of sales and listings reflects a delayed start to the spring home buying season, with combined sales for the period from March to May coming in largely as anticipated and at average levels. These deferrals are now likely to have been largely depleted, which suggests that the strength of sales momentum heading into the summer may be transient.

CREA’s forecast for sales activity in 2014 is largely unchanged from its previous forecast published in March. At that time, interest rates had been expected to start to edge higher in the second half of the year. However, it now appears that interest rates may not begin to rise until closer to the end of the year, which remains supportive for home ownership affordability over the balance of 2014.

Sales are forecast to reach 463,400 units in 2014, representing an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to 2013. This is little changed from CREA’s forecast of 463,700 sales (rising 1.3 per cent) published in March.

Activity is still expected to remain in line with its 10‐year average and to hold within fairly short reach of 450,000 units for the seventh consecutive year (Chart A).

British Columbia is forecast to post the largest year‐over‐year increase in activity (8.3 per cent), and make the biggest contribution to the increase in national sales activity. B.C.’s projected increase in sales this year largely reflects a slow start to 2013.

Alberta’s annual sales are projected to rise by +3.8 per cent increase in 2014, while activity in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario is expected to be roughly in line with 2013 levels. Sales are forecast to fall by 1.7 per cent and Quebec, 4.2 per cent in New Brunswick in 2014, 5.1 per cent in Nova Scotia, and by 2.6 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2015, the outlook for the economy, jobs and incomes is one of further improvement, accompanied by a slow and gradual increase in fixed and variable mortgage interest rates.

On balance, these two opposing factors should most benefit housing markets where sales are currently softer but prices remain more affordable. Sales in relatively less affordable housing markets are likely to be more sensitive to higher fixed mortgage rates, whether from the standpoint of higher monthly mortgage payments or qualification for mortgage financing based on the posted five‐year mortgage interest rate.

As such, provinces east of Ontario are expected to post the largest gains in activity in 2015 in the range of around 2.5 to five per cent, while sales in provinces from British Columbia to Ontario are forecast to remain little changed.

National activity is now forecast to reach 467,800 units in 2015, representing a further annual increase of 0.9 per cent. This would result in sales staying in line with the 10‐year average for the eighth year in a row.

Average prices have remained firm and continue to reflect a rise in the share of national sales among some of Canada’s most active and expensive markets compared to last year. Additionally, prices have been heating up in some markets, particularly in Calgary and Toronto where single family properties remain in short supply.

The national average home price is now projected to rise by 5.7 per cent to $404,300 in 2014, with similar sized gains in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. More modest changes in average prices are forecast for all other provinces this year. The national average price is forecast to edge up a further 0.7 per cent in 2015 to $407,300. Alberta and Manitoba are forecast to post average price gains of two per cent in 2015, followed closely by Ontario at 1.2 per cent. Average prices in all other provinces are forecast to remain stable, edging up by less than one percentage point.