Home sales down by 0.9% in Canada in June but prices up over 11% year on year

Taylor Scott International News

Nationally home sales fell 0.9% from May to June in Canada while prices were up 11.2% year on year, according to the latest index data. It means that monthly falls in sales activity has left transactions down 2.6% below the record set in April 2016, the home index from the Canadian Real Estate Association of Canada (CREA) also shows. There is also considerable price differences depending on location. For example if Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver are left out of the equation prices are up 8.4% year on year. Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all markets in June, with declines in Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Greater Toronto having eclipsed gains in comparatively less active housing markets. ‘While national sales activity remains strong, there are still significant differences in housing market trends across Canada,’ said CREA President Cliff Iverson. ‘While home sales activity and price growth are running strong in B.C. and Ontario, they remain subdued in other markets where home buyers are cautious and uncertain about the outlook for their local economy,’ he added. A breakdown of the figures show that two storey single family home prices continued to post the biggest year on year gain at 15.5%, followed by one storey single family homes up 14%, townhouse/row units up 13.6% and apartments up 9.8%. While prices in nine of the 11 markets tracked by the index posted year on year gains in June, price growth continues to vary widely among housing markets. Greater Vancouver with price growth of 32.1% and the Fraser Valley up 35.5% posted the largest annual gains. Greater Toronto recorded price growth of 16%, Victoria was up 15.7%, up 10.6% in Vancouver Island, up 7.9% in Greater Moncton, up 4.1% in Calgary, up 3.6% in Regina, up 1.9% in Greater Montreal and up 1% in Ottawa but prices fell by 4.1% in Calgary year on year and by 1.4% Saskatoon. The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. The actual, not seasonally adjusted, national average price for homes sold in June 2016 was $503,301, up 11.2% year on year. However, if these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $374,760 and the gain is trimmed to 8.4% year on year. June sales extended trends observed the previous month, according to Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. ‘As was the case in May, the monthly decline in national sales activity was led by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and markets in or around the GTA,’ he said. ‘In keeping with the law of supply and demand, exceptionally low inventory combined with high demand continues to translate into strong price growth in these housing markets, where year on year price gains have been running in double digit territory since late last year,’ he pointed out. Actual,… Taylor Scott International

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