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Residential sales in Canada increased slightly by 0.3% month on month in August and transactions were up 4% compared to a year ago, the latest index shows. The data from the Canadian Real Estate Association also shows that the number of newly listed homes for sale increased by 0.5% while prices are up 8.7% year on year but this drops to 4.2% when Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are taken out of the calculation. ‘August marked the fourth month in a row for strong and stable national sales activity, While home prices increased in British Columbia and in the Greater Toronto area, they have been holding fairly steady in many other parts of the country for some time now,’ said CREA President Pauline Aunger. The figures also shows that prices continue to rise in Ontario and British Columbia, where listings are either in short supply or heading in that direction. August also provided early evidence that modest price growth is re-emerging in some markets in Quebec and New Brunswick. ‘The continuation of low interest rates is supporting home sales and price trends, and is likely to keep doing so for some time,’ said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. Actual activity in August was up 4% from the same month last year and it was the third highest August sales figure on record after 2005 and 2007, and 6.6% above the 10 year average for August. Actual sales were up from year ago levels in a little over 60% of all local markets, led by the lower mainland region of British Columbia and the Greater Toronto Area. Sales in Calgary continued to post the largest year on year declines after having run near record levels there last year. The number of months of inventory, regarded as an important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand, was 5.6 on a national basis at the end of August, unchanged from the previous three months and holding at a three year low. Year on year price growth picked up in August for all home types tracked by the index with the exception of townhouse/row units. Two storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year on year price rise at 8.85% followed by single storey single family homes at 6.09%, townhouse/row units at 4.29% and apartment units up 3.08%. Year on year price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. Greater Vancouver with growth of 11.96% and Greater Toronto up 9.99%, continue to post by far the biggest year on year price increases. By comparison, year on year price growth in the Fraser Valley was 7% while Victoria and Vancouver Island recorded 5% growth. Prices in Calgary were flat on a year on year basis, the first month since September 2011 of no annual price growth while prices in Saskatoon also ran roughly even with year ago levels. Elsewhere, home prices were up from August 2014 levels by 1.5% in Ottawa but fell by… Continue reading →
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