Canada’s major-market home sales in March via the Multiple Listing Service totaled 28,129 units on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 13.5 percent from February, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association.


Monthly sales reached their highest level on record in a number of markets, including Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.


New listings climbed by 4.4 percent to 40,827 units on a seasonally adjusted basis and stood at their highest level since June 1993. Nonetheless, a bigger monthly increase in sales caused the housing market to tighten.


Tight market conditions and continuing demand for higher priced homes pushed the major-market MLS residential average price up 11.2 percent year-over-year to $239,042, its highest level ever. The year-over-year rise in MLS residential average price for March was its eighth double-digit increase in the past nine months and its largest this year. The MLS average price also topped all previous monthly records in a number of major markets, including Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.


“At the beginning of the year, it was expected that home sales would gradually slow down but remain strong. Similar forecasts were made the previous year. The increase in March sales shows that a combination of low interest rates, continuing job growth and resilient consumer confidence continue to keep home sales hotter than expected,” said CREA’s chief executive officer, Pierre Beauchamp.


“Moreover, the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to cut its trend-setting Bank rate by another quarter of a percentage point will further improve variable mortgage interest rate financing and fuel consumer confidence,” he added. “Combined with additional full-time job gains throughout the first quarter and the continuation of low and attractive mortgage rates, the strength in spring MLS residential unit sales and housing starts should persist into the summer,” Beauchamp said.


The Canadian Real Estate Association represents the interests of more than 70,000 licensed and registered real estate practitioners in 103 local real estate boards, 10 provincial associations and one territorial association.


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