May Witnessed Rise in Canadian Home Sales

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The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) latest report shows that home sales throughout Canada saw a rise in the month of May. The MLS system, which handles the most listings throughout the nation, reported a 3.6% rise in home sales – the largest monthly gain seen since nearly two and a half years.

This national increase in sales puts the total figure almost where it was last summer, before new mortgage regulations were implemented. May recorded improvements in over half of all local markets, including those in Calgary, Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Greater Toronto, Winnipeg, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Halifax-Dartmouth.

CREA President, Laura Leyser stated, “While sales improved in sync among the vast majority of local markets in May, the fact remains that all real estate is local. Your REALTOR® is your best resource for understanding how the housing market is shaping up where you live or might like to”.

New listings for home sales went up by 1.9% in May, and were majorly from local markets. The nationwide sales to listings ratio also went up to 51.4% last month, compared to April’s 50.6%, according to which more than half of the local markets were in the balanced market region (40 – 60% sales to listing ratio) during May.

Gregory Klump, Chief Economist of CREA, stated, “Until recently, mixed sales trends across the country taken together had resulted consistently in a stable national trend,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The difference in May was that sales improved in so many markets at the same time”.

Number of months of inventory is also important as a measure of market balance. The number represents the months required to completely sell the current inventory at the ongoing sales rate. At the end of last month, the number of months of inventory left was 6.4, better than the 6.6 in April. British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia recorded decreases in inventory levels due to increase in sales.

May also recorded an increase in the average sale price of homes (3.7% increase from last year to reach $388,910), which was being hit since two years due to slow activity in Greater Vancouver. However, a boost in activity during May resulted in the first average price in increase since August 2011.

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