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Resale market sees March uptick PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   
OTTAWA (20 April 2012) - The housing resale market was up 2.5% on a month-over-month basis and up 1.6% year-over-year in February as the national average price retreated a modest 0.5%, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Activity was up in two-thirds of all local markets, led by gains in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. CREA also said that new listings eased 0.3% month-over-month in March, although it continues to describe the housing resale market as "well balanced" - meaning its neither a vendor's or a buyer's market.

CREA reported that sales in March via its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) were at their highest levels since April 2010, even though the actual (not seasonally adjusted) uptick of 1.6% was the smallest year-over-year gain since last April.

The realtors' group also reported that a total of 108,373 homes traded hands in the first three months of 2012. "This is 5.0% above the five-year average for first quarter sales, 3.8% above the 10-year average and 4.4% above activity in the first quarter of 2011," CREA said.

"The spring housing market is off to a good start," CREA's newly installed president, Wayne Moen, said in a statement. "The number of sales and newly listed properties are up from levels last year, and the vast majority of housing markets remain balanced."

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in March 2012 was $369,677 - off 0.5% from the same month last year.

"Average prices are up from year-ago levels in most large urban centres," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said. "The slight decline in the national average price points to a tug of war between Toronto and Vancouver from the standpoint of their sales mix compared to last year."

Vancouver's hot high-end resale market in the opening months of 2011 wasn't repeated in 2012. Locally, more modestly priced homes were sold, forcing a decline in the average price through a shift in the sales mix, not deflation.

"At the same time, overall home sales activity in Toronto is stronger than it was last spring, and higher-end home sales are up from year-ago levels. Being by far the most active housing market in Canada, Toronto represents the single biggest factor supporting national average price compared to last year," Klump said.

Chart oourtesy of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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