Canadian Home Sales Edge Higher in December

Highlights:
• Sales activity rose 1.8 per cent from November to December.
• Annual activity totalled 456,749 sales in 2011, up 2.2 per cent from 2010.
• The number of newly listed homes increased 3 per cent from November to December.
• A simultaneous increase in sales and new listings kept the national resale housing in balanced territory.
• The national average home price was up just 0.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in December, marking the smallest increase since October 2010.

Sales activity recorded through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 1.8 per cent from November to December 2011, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase.
Activity rose in more than half of all local markets, including some of Canada’s most active, with monthly declines posted in most of the remaining markets.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity came in 4.6 per cent above year-ago levels in December. It also stood above the five- and ten-year average for December sales.

“The momentum in sales activity provides clear evidence that low interest rates continue to draw homebuyers to the housing market,” said Gary Morse, CREA President. “While buyers have become increasingly cautious, the hand off for sales activity going into the New Year suggests that Canada’s housing market will continue to benefit from low interest rates in 2012, and continue making a significant contribution to Canadian economic activity.
Even so, prospects among housing markets and neighbourhoods differ, so buyers and sellers should talk to a local REALTOR® to understand how trends are shaping up where they live.”

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in December 2011 was $347,801. This stood just 0.9 per cent above the average selling price in December 2010, marking smallest increase since October 2010.

“Momentum for national sales activity and average price remains positive but is slowing, which suggests that the continuation of low interest rates is not causing the Canadian housing market to overheat,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “High end home sales seem unlikely to spike again in the first quarter like they did at the beginning of 2011, so national average price momentum may wane further over the next few months. With interest rates widely expected to remain low throughout 2012, homeownership will remain affordable, and continue to support home sales activity.”

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About John Lamberton-Broker, SRES- Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty

Residential and Commercial Real Estate Sales
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