On the heels of what was the slowest April for national home sales last year, April 2019 appeared to have provided a glimmer of hope. With sales having fallen for 15 consecutive months, April enjoyed a 4.2 percent increase on a year-over-year basis, helping to end the losing skid and perhaps prolong the near two decade-long housing boom. The uptick in sales was largely contributed to a somewhat resilient Greater Toronto housing market.
Despite a slight increase in home sales, the national home price index continued to slide lower. Prices dipped 0.3% year-over-year thanks to significant weakness in Greater Vancouver which saw home prices sink 8.5% year-over-year.
As you can see, the softness in the national housing market is mostly out West, at least for now. Prices continue to face downwards pressure in Greater Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. While prices have slightly bounced back in greater Toronto and continue to inflate in Montréal and Ottawa.
overall this reads like a good report. however it’s becoming glaringly obvious that there is a huge divide between the East and the West. The Canadian labour market remains robust with unemployment hovering near 40 year lows, and of course population growth remains strong. However both of these factors are driven primarily by the strength in the Canadian housing market, which is churning out a record number of new housing units and employment in the construction sector despite some obvious weakening. Watch this space in the months ahead.