Home prices in Canada’s major markets set a new monthly record for May, and sales continued at a brisk pace, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association.

The major market MLS residential average price rose 12.9 percent year-over-year to $248,738, its fifth consecutive double-digit increase and the third consecutive month in which it set a new monthly record. The MLSresidential average price set a new monthly record in a number of major markets, including Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Canada’s major-market home sales in May via the Multiple Listing Service totaled 27,559 units on a seasonally adjusted basis, their fifth highest level on record, the association reported.

Sales for the first five months of the year continued to surpass all previous year-to-date records in a number of major markets, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Saint John.

The number of sellers also increased, with seasonally adjusted new listings having jumped 5.2 percent to 44,087 units, its highest level on record. Despite an increase in the number of sellers, market balance nonetheless remained tight.

“With average home prices and mortgage rates both on the rise, prospective home buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market,” said CREA’s chief executive officer, Pierre Beauchamp. “The increase in the number of homes for sale is good news for buyers, since more selection will limit price increases and maintain affordability for home ownership,” he added.

“Mortgage interest rates have edged slightly higher, but home buyers recognize that they are still historically low and represent an excellent opportunity to realize the dream of home ownership. Recent full-time job growth ensures that consumer confidence and housing demand will remain in good health over the rest of the year and into the next,” he said.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 70,000 Realtors working through 103 real estate boards, 10 provincial associations and one territorial association.

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