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Housing resale market improved in November, CREA reports PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   

OTTAWA (15 December 2010) - The Canadian housing resale market improved for the fourth consecutive month in November gaining 4.8% over October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) which hailed the uptick as a "return to normal levels."

However, the realtor group also noted that November 2010 sales via its Multiple Listing Service "were well short of record level activity for the month of November posted a year ago." On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales were 19.5% above the levels recorded in July 2010, when they reached this year's low point.

Seasonally adjusted activity was up from October levels in two-thirds of all local markets, including eight of Canada's ten most active markets. Month-over-month increases were reported in Calgary (+2.6%), Edmonton (+6.9%), Fraser Valley (+10.5%), London & St. Thomas (+6.5%), Montreal (+8.2%), Ottawa (+4.2%), Toronto (+6.0%), and Greater Vancouver (+11.3%).

These markets accounted for more than half of national activity in November.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity in November 2010 was 9.3% below levels in November 2009.

CREA said the persistence of large year-over-year declines from last year's record levels has been masking the steady improvement in national sales activity since July 2010, pointing out that sales in November 2010 are consistent with those for the same month in prior years.

The number of new listing on the MLS edged down 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis and new listings remain 14.6% below the peak reached in April 2010.

"An increase in new listings is likely to return many sellers markets to balanced territory over the coming months," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said in a statement.

"With sales activity having returned to better health and a firm floor under prices, sellers who previously shied away from putting their home on the market are expected to list their home in response to improved housing demand in recent months," he added.

The national average price for homes sold in November 2010 was $344,268, up 2% from November 2009.

"Following the chilling lows at the onset of the recent recession and the dizzying heights during the subsequent recovery, the national housing market appears to be returning to some semblance of normalcy," said Klump.

"Changes to mortgage regulations earlier this year were prudent and sufficient, striking the right balance between preventing speculative housing market activity and keeping homeownership affordability within reach for creditworthy home buyers," he continued, adding, "That's a good thing, since housing activity helped support Canadian economic growth this year. Rising interest rates and weaker expected job growth are likely to contribute to softer prospects for housing market activity and average price growth next year, reflecting weakening economic growth prospects."

Image
Chart courtesy of Canadian Real Estate Association.

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