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Solid third quarter for MLS® home sales

Canada’s major markets are becoming more balanced

Existing home sales activity in Canada’s major markets remained solid in the third quarter of 2006, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association.

The housing market continues to become more balanced, which is resulting in smaller price increases. Year-to-date sales activity remains slightly ahead of levels recorded for the first nine months of last year, and is on track to set a new annual record in 2006.  Seasonally adjusted home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service ® (MLS ®) in Canada’s major markets totaled 82,119 units in the third quarter of 2006 – down 2.5 per cent compared to the second quarter.

The quarterly decline in sales activity was biggest in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, but was partially offset by a quarterly increase in transactions in Edmonton, Hamilton and a number of other major markets. Sales activity in Edmonton and Thunder Bay reached the highest level of any quarter on record.

Actual (unadjusted) sales activity in the third quarter of 2006 eased by 6.2 per cent compared to the third quarter of last year. Transactions for the year-to-date in September were 0.7 per cent ahead of levels recorded for the same period last year. New sales records for the year-to-date in September were set in a number of major markets, including Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, some 27,220 homes traded hands via the MLS ® in September – just 1.6 per cent fewer than for the previous month. Sales reached the highest monthly level on record in Edmonton.

Seasonally adjusted MLS ® residential new listings in Canada’s major markets numbered 143,760 units in the third quarter – an increase of 3.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter. This was also the highest level in more than 15 years, and the second highest level for any quarter on record. New listings reached the highest level of any quarter on record in Calgary and Edmonton, and the second highest level on record in Toronto and Montreal.

New listings continued to rise in September, posting gains compared to each of the two previous months. The quarterly decline in sales combined with an increase in new listings caused the resale housing market to become more balanced than in any other quarter in the past 5.5 years.

The MLS ® residential average price in Canada’s major markets was $294,245 in the third quarter 2006 – up 10.1 per cent from levels recorded for the same quarter one year ago. Average price surpassed all previous quarterly records in many major markets, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, London, Kitchener, St. Catharines and Sudbury.

“Canada’s housing market continues to head for a soft landing,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “With the housing market becoming more balanced, price gains are slowing down in a number of major markets. CREA’s October 2006 forecast indicates those trends will continue over the rest of the year and in 2007.”

“Solid market fundamentals remain in place, including h igh levels of employment, upbeat consumer confidence and rising incomes ,” said CREA President Alan Tennant, FRI. “Consumers should consult with their REALTOR® to gain a full understanding of local market conditions.”

MLS ® Major Market Residential Summary:
Third Quarter 2006

 

(Seasonally Adjusted Data)

 

(Unadjusted Data)

 

Third Quarter
2006

Second Quarter
2006

%
change

 

Third Quarter
2006

Third
Quarter
2005

%
change

Dollar Volume ($ millions)

24,249.2

24,295.3

-2.7

 

23,811.5

23,059.7

3.3

Unit Sales

82,119

84,258

-2.5

 

80,924

86,299

-6.2

Average Price ($)

  

294,245

267,207

10.1

New Listings

143,760

138,519

3.8

 

146,017

138,120

5.7

MLS ® Major Market Residential Summary:
September 2006

 

(Seasonally Adjusted Data)

 

(Unadjusted Data)

 

September
2006

August
2006

%
change

 

September
2006

September
2005

%
change

Dollar Volume ($ millions)

8,006.8

8,106.3

2.4

 

7,590.7

7,609.1

-0.2

Unit Sales

27,220

27,649

-1.6

 

25,659

28,028

-8.5

Average Price ($)

  

295,830

271,482

9.0

New Listings

48,945

47,275

3.5

 

52,638

49,795

5.7

 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. (CREA 10/16/2006)

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 01:55AM by Registered CommenterElaine | CommentsPost a Comment

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