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October home sales improve 41.5 per cent year over year, marking monthly record

Posted by James Osmar | Posted in Real Estate Articles | Posted on 16-11-2009

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OTTAWA - Canadian home resales improved 41.5 per cent year over year to 42,288 units in October, a record for the month, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The national average price for homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service also reached a new high in October at $341,079. This was 20.7 per cent higher than the same month last year.

New sales records for the month were reported in one-fifth of local markets, including Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, MLS home sales totalled 45,818 units in October, two per cent higher than the previous record set in May 2007 and 74 per cent above the recent low in January.

"Low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continue to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year," stated CREA president Dale Ripplinger.

"The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories."

The sharp rise in demand for homes has shrunk inventories to 194,994 or a seasonally adjusted 4.1 months worth, the lowest level in more than two years and 20.8 per cent below the peak reached a year ago. This is the sixth month in a row in which inventories are down from year-ago levels.

Seasonally adjusted new listings on MLS were slightly higher in October compared to September at 65,148 units. New listings peaked in May 2008, then declined until March 2009, and have remained relatively steady since then.

"New listings are still expected to rise in the coming months in response to headline average price increases," stated CREA chief economist Gregory Klump.

"New supply dropped dramatically in December last year and earlier this year in response to a difficult pricing environment. Sellers who moved to the sidelines should be drawn back to the market as prices rise further over the rest of the year and in early 2010."

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