Has the Real Estate Bubble Burst?

Real Estate BubbleUnit sales of residential properties dropped off 26% in August compared to last year’s August results. According to MLS® system reports of the Niagara Association of REALTORS® there were 14 sales in Pelham during the month of August 2012 down from the total of 19 sales reported in August 2011.

Similar monthly results were reported in our neighbouring City of Welland. With August 2012 total sales of 66 units, the month ended 26% shy of last year’s total of 89 transactions recorded in August 2011.

The August slowdown is consistent with the most recent media release from the Canadian Real Estate Association that indicated that the number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards and Associations in Canada fell 5.8 per cent between July and August 2012. This drop in activity represents the largest month-over-month National decline since June 2010.

With almost all the large urban centres across Canada including Greater Toronto, Greater Montreal, Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa all reporting reduced activity in August the cumulative effect caught the attention of our National media. The result being that the most common question we are now hearing from local consumers is “Has the Bubble Burst?”

As far as Niagara is concerned, one would have to presume that there was a bubble in the first place. Since 2007 the Average Annual Sale Price of the Toronto Real Estate Board increased 23.7% while unit sales declined 4.1% . In comparison, our Pelham market experienced a modest 5% price growth during the same time frame with unit sales 16% below the 2007 peak level.

It is no secret that average price growth has been slowing across Canada since last Spring. Remember to keep in mind that all markets are local and our small, affordable Niagara predictably sputters along without the extreme ups and downs of larger metropolitan markets.

This article was originally published on September 26th, 2012 in our Pelham News “Real Estate View” Column Series .

Categories: Real Estate Market Update

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