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MLS® Home Sales Up in January

Resale housing activity in Canada’s major markets set a new record in January 2007 according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Seasonally adjusted MLS® home sales in Canada’s major markets totaled 30,359 units in January 2007. Led by gains in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto, seasonally adjusted activity rose by 3.4 per cent from December 2006 and surpassed the previous monthly record set in August 2005 by three per cent.

Seasonally adjusted activity set new records in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Ottawa and Saint John. Sales also reached their second highest monthly level on record in Calgary, and their third highest level on record in Toronto.

Seasonally adjusted MLS® residential new listings numbered 48,035 units in January, up 3.1 per cent from 46,579 units in December. The monthly increase resulted largely from an increase in new listings in Vancouver and Toronto.

The monthly increase in sales was slightly larger than for new listings, which caused the resale housing market to become slightly tighter in January compared to the previous month. Markets in Toronto and Montreal became tighter in January than in any other month in the past year.

The major market MLS® residential average price in January rose 11.2 per cent year over year to $299,318. Average price reached its highest monthly level on record in Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Hamilton-Burlington, London & St. Thomas, and Quebec City.

“Unseasonably warm weather in some regions may have boosted MLS® home sales activity in January,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “Transactions also rose in each of the three previous months. That clearly shows that resale housing activity continues to be supported by the same factors that have boosted the housing market over the past several years.” “Low mortgage interest rates, high employment, rising incomes and upbeat consumer sentiment will keep the housing market on a strong footing for the foreseeable future,” he added.

The increasing national average house price is one reason why REALTORS® have been asking the federal government to revise the Home Buyers Plan, says Alan Tennant, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “The Home Buyers' Plan has not been adjusted since 1992 when the plan was created. During the same period, the Consumer Price Index climbed by 27 per cent. If the maximum loan available under the HBP were adjusted to account for inflation, it would now stand at $25,400” Alan Tennant explained. The plan currently allows first time home buyers to borrow $20,000 from their RRSP without penalty. In its presentation to the Finance Committee, CREA proposed increasing the maximum individual withdrawl to $25,000.

MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used by Canada's real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 02:19AM by Registered CommenterElaine | CommentsPost a Comment

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