Year-end figures demonstrate stable growth
“While sales activity in 2011 remained below the long run average by 17 per cent, monthly figures point towards the trend of this gap narrowing,” says Sano Stante, president of CREB®.
2011 single family sales totaled 13,186, a nine per cent increase over last year. While sales increased, listings remained low, with an annual total of 24,245, six per cent lower than 2010 levels. The decline in listings relative to sales pushed down inventory levels to 2,761, resulting in four months of supply.
Meanwhile, the condominium market recorded declining sales for nearly half of the year, but favorable pricing and improved economic conditions pushed sales up by double digit rates for the second half of the year. 2011 condo sales totaled 5,382, a 4 per cent increase over the previous year. The rise in sales was complemented by an annual 12 per cent decline in listings. This helped to tighten the condominium market, causing inventories to decline to 1,287 and months of supply to remain just above four months.
“The demand recovery in the condominium market lagged the single family market, as price adjustments in both the single family and condominium markets resulted in more selection for consumers,” Stante says. “For the first time in several years, consumers had additional selection of single family homes at a lower price range, which directly competed with the condominium market.”
Single family average price in 2011 reached $466,402, a one per cent increase over last year. While there have been some strong monthly increases, primarily due to sales in the upper end skewing the prices, overall prices have remained fairly stable. Meanwhile, the year-end median price of 405,000 remains at levels similar to 2010.
Condominium prices have remained persistently low in 2011, while some of the monthly figures have been boosted by high end penthouse sales. By the end of 2011, the average price of $287,172 remained one per cent lower than the previous year.
“Throughout 2011, elevated levels of inventories have limited price growth as consumers benefitted from sufficient supply of housing to choose from; however, as these inventories drop to levels more consistent with a balanced market, we can expect some moderate price growth moving forward,” Stante concludes.