Local Real Estate Boards Give Hint Of A Surging Housing Market

Canada’s housing market is again proving to be hotter than economists expected.

The latest data on sales of existing homes across the country will be released by the Canadian Real Estate Board next week. But a number of local real estate boards have made their statistics available in recent days and the picture they paint is generally one of strength, especially in the highly-populated markets of Toronto and Vancouver.

That comes as the housing market has been gaining steam in the wake of a sluggish winter during which unusually cold weather depressed sales.

The comeback has been strong enough that Toronto-Dominion Bank’s economics department upgraded its expectations last week for home sales and prices this year – although it continues to predict that “the Canadian housing market will cool over the medium term.”

With five-year mortgage rates at record lows, the number of existing homes that sold in May shot up well above the 10-year average for the month, and “more strength may be bubbling under the surface,” TD economist Diana Petramala wrote in a research note.

Indeed, here’s a rundown of some of the data from local boards that’s already available for June:

Montreal

– Sales of existing homes in the Montreal area were 3 per cent higher than a year earlier. That marks the first year-over-year increase in sales in nine months.

– Sales of single-family homes were up by 2 per cent, while sales of condos were up 8 per cent.

– Sales on the Island of Montreal rose 10 per cent and those on the South Shore were up 2 per cent. Sales in Laval were down 2 per cent, on the North Shore 4 per cent lower, and in Vaudreuil-Soulanges they fell 1 per cent.

– The median price of a single-family home rose 2 per cent to $291,000. That of condos was essentially flat at $234,525.

Toronto

– Sales were up 15.4 per cent from a year earlier. A total of 10,180 homes changed hands over the Multiple Listing Service, well above the 10-year average for the month of 9,295.

– The average selling price rose 7.4 per cent to $568,953.

– The average number of days that a home is on the market before selling dropped to 22 days from 24 a year earlier.

– Active listings fell 6.8 per cent.

Source: Tara Perkins @ The Globe & Mail

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