Canadian home sales edge up

By Staff | May 15, 2013 | Last updated on May 15, 2013
2 min read

National home sales edged up slightly on a month-over-month basis in April, says the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Housing market activity has generally held stable for the past nine months.

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Data highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.6% from March to April.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 3.1% below levels in April 2012
  • The number of newly listed homes dipped 0.9% from March to April.
  • The Canadian housing market remains firmly in balanced territory
  • The national average sale price jumped 1.3% on a year-over-year basis in April
  • The MLS® HPI increased 2.2% in April, the smallest gain in more than two years

The number of homes purchased through the MLS Systems of real estate Boards and Associations, and other cooperative listing systems, moved 0.6% higher on a month-over-month basis in April 2013.

Sales improved in more than half of all local markets over the past two months, led by gains in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Victoria.

“National sales activity is stable and the market remains balanced,” said CREA President Laura Leyser.

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But the trends for sales and listings are very different. They vary depending on region and property types, and are often one of the main drivers of price differences in markets.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity, which came in 3.1%, showed transactions down on a year-over-year basis in about 60% of local markets.

That compares to a decline of more than 15% in March, with transactions down in more than 90% of all local markets.

“The Easter holiday and an extra full weekend at the end of the month lowered March sales activity and the absence of these factors in April helped sales for the month,” says Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

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“Since changes to mortgage rules in 2012, national sales have been running 9%-to-10% below levels posted in the first half of 2012, but they’ve been remarkably steady,” he adds.

April’s activity was on par with last August, and month-to-month changes since then have held to within a range of plus or minus 2%.

Klump says monthly changes in national sales have held to within such a narrow range over a nine month period only once in the past—he notes CREA’s seasonally adjusted data begins in 1988.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

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Nationally, there were 6.6 months of inventory at the end of April 2013. This was unchanged from the end of March, and it’s also held fairly steady around this level for the past nine months.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in April 2013 was $380,588, which represented an increase of 1.3% from the same month last year. staff


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