Property sales via Canadian MLS® Systems went up 0.9% in March 2019 following a sudden drop in February, leaving activity near some of the lowest levels recorded in the last six years.

There was an even break between the number of markets where sales went up from the previous month and those where they waned. Among Canada’s larger cities, activity increased in Victoria, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Ottawa, whereas it decreased in Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, London and St. Thomas, Sudbury and Quebec City.

Actual sales activity dropped 4.6% y-o-y to the lowest level for the month since 2013. It was also almost 12% below the 10-year average for March. That said, in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, sales were more than 20% below their 10-year average for the month. In contrast, activity is running well above-average in Quebec and New Brunswick.

“It will be some time before policy measures announced in the recent Federal Budget designed to help first-time homebuyers take effect,” said Jason Stephen, CREA’s President. “In the meantime, many prospective homebuyers remain sidelined by the mortgage stress-test to varying degrees depending on where they are looking to buy. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future,” added Stephen.