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Canada's Home Sales are Setting Records

Canadian existing home sales had their strongest October showing on record, and are on track to hit an annual record as well, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Thursday. Sales were up 1.3 percent from September to 28,966 units. That followed three consecutive months of declines, said CREA, an industry trade organization representing over 92,000 realtors. CREA's records go back to 1980.

October sales were up 7.6 percent from the same month a year earlier. Sales in 2007 have risen year-over-year every month except September.

"The trend in new listings shows there is no panic selling in Canada's housing market," CREA president Ann Bosley said in a release.

The unadjusted average resale home price rose 10.6 per cent to C$333,544 in October from a year earlier, the sixth consecutive month that the increase exceeded 10 percent.

The strong numbers highlight the difference between the housing markets in Canada and the U.S., said Gregory Klump, the Canadian Real Estate Association's chief economist.

"We're in two completely different gears," Klump said. "We've got further house price increases on the horizon, and in the States, house prices are on the decline."

Data released in October showed U.S. sales of previously owned homes fell to a record low in September amid a crisis in U.S. subprime mortgage and credit markets.

In Canada, more than half the country's 25 major markets posted a monthly increase in activity, Klump said. "Negotiations still favor the seller in nearly all major markets", he said, suggesting demand remains strong.

Klump expects existing home price increases will continue to exceed overall consumer price inflation. The real estate association revised its market forecast for 2008, and is calling for a gradual slowdown in existing home sales, but with sales volume holding near record levels.

Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 12:13PM by Registered CommenterElaine | CommentsPost a Comment

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