Detached benchmark home prices totaled $501,300 in July, down 0.4 per cent from last month and over two per cent from last year's levels. Year-to-date average benchmark prices in the detached sector remain just below levels recorded last year.
The apartment ownership sector continues to see the steepest declines, with year-to-date benchmark prices averaging $257,343, three per cent below last year and nearly 14 per cent below 2014 highs.
Oversupply issues continue to worsen in each district of the city compared to last year. However, compared to historical conditions, conditions today remain better than in 2016 in both the West and City Centre districts. Year-to-date, the West and City Centre areas have recorded prices higher than last year's levels and continue to edge towards price recovery. Benchmark prices in the West have averaged $733,329 this year, comparable to previous highs. City Centre benchmark prices have averaged $693,243, nearly three per cent below previous highs. Most districts have recorded detached prices that remain over four per cent below previous highs.
Easing new listings in the apartment condominium sector have prevented any further gains in the amount of inventory in the market.
Supply levels remain elevated compared to sales, keeping year-to-date prices three per cent below last year's levels and nearly 14 per cent below previous highs.
Citywide inventory levels remain just below last year. July inventories edged down in the North East, North, North West, South and East areas of the city compared to the previous year.
Levels remain elevated by historical standards, but any reductions in inventory can help reduce oversupply.
Like the other sectors, attached sales have been easing this year, with 2,225 sales this year representing a 15 per cent decline over the previous year.
Gains in new listings pushed up inventory levels and months of supply compared to last year.
Citywide year-to-date semi-detached prices have eased by nearly one per cent compared to last year. Benchmark price changes have ranged from a three per cent decline in the North West district to a six per cent increase in the South district. Despite the annual gain this year in the South district, semi-detached prices remain nearly five per cent lower than that district's peak. Year-to-date benchmark row prices have increased on a citywide basis due to gains in the City Centre, North and North West districts. The annual gain is a positive move towards recovery, but row prices remain well below previous highs in every district of the city.
As the inevitable recovery period seems to be anyone's guess, there is good indication that once "bargain hunters" and sellers who are holding tight at their prices give way to one or the other, we will start to see either a further short term drop in prices during the coming 3 to 6 months, or the very laborious and gradual crawl to a long term recovery.
Buyers can be assured the market has been at bottom, or is near bottom right now and there are bargains out there as the number of multiple offers seems to have dissipated in the summer heat. Sellers again have to be cognisant of the market reality when they list, and of the benefits of listing a clean, presentable house.