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Home sales climb in April PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   
OTTAWA (18 May 2012) - The resale housing market continues to turn in strong performances as sales in April were up 0.8% over March and up by an actual, that is not seasonally adjusted, 11.5% over April 2011, according to figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The realtors group also said the national average home price gained 0.9% on a year-over-year basis in April while the number of homes listed on its Multiple Listing Service saw a 0.2% uptick from March to April.

CREA also noted sales activity was either up or held steady in half of all local markets in April, with Toronto and Calgary posting the biggest monthly increases for the second month in a row. Activity gains in Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, as well as in London and St. Thomas, Ontario, also made significant contributions to the national sales increase in April. Increased activity in these markets offset monthly declines in Ottawa, Windsor-Essex, Quebec City, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver.

"A number of Canadian housing market trends in April remained intact from the previous month," CREA president Wayne Moen said in a statement. "Trends in Vancouver and Toronto continue to diverge. These two housing markets have an obvious influence on national statistics and a high profile, but Canada is a big place."

CREA said April's year-over-year actual sales gain of 11.5% reflected the slowdown in sales seen following changes to mortgage regulations introduced by the federal government in March 2011.

For the year-to-date, CREA said a total of 157,804 homes traded hands to the end of April, up 6.4% from levels reported in the first four months of 2011 and about 4% above both the five- and 10-year averages for sales during the first third of the year.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in April 2012 was $375,810 - a gain of 0.9% from the same month last year. While more or less flat compared to last spring on a national basis, average sale prices were up on a year-over-year basis in 80%of all local markets in April.

"It bears repeating that the national average price was skewed higher last spring by record level high-end home sales in Vancouver's priciest neighbourhoods, and that a replay of this phenomenon was not expected this year," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said. "Sales data confirm that high-end activity in Vancouver is well off the peak levels reached at this time last year, which is exerting a gravitational pull on the national average price.

"By contrast, activity in Toronto is stronger this spring than it was last spring. Higher-priced sales activity there is on the rise and buoying average prices. As the most active housing market in Canada, Toronto is the biggest factor supporting national average price," he continued.

Klump noted that by taking both Vancouver and Toronto out of the calculation, produces a 3.1% increase in the national average price. "On balance, this points to modest price growth amid balanced market conditions in much of the rest of Canada," he pointed out.

Chart oourtesy of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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