Major-market home sales in Canada dipped 1.7 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Closed transactions via the Multiple Listing Service numbered 27,090 units in July, compared to 27,539 sales the previous month.

Sales in the first seven months of the year remained 6 percent above activity during the same period last year, so home sales are still running at historically high levels. Activity for the first seven months surpassed all previous year-to-date records in a number of major markets, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The number of new listings (43,438 units) available for sale in July changed little from June levels (43,961 units) the previous month. With little monthly change in sales or new listings, market balance remained stable.

The major-market MLS residential average price rose 7.7 percent (year-over-year) to $242,261 in July. Its return to single-digit growth for the first time in the past seven months was anticipated, since supply and demand has become more balanced compared to last year. The MLS residential average price has receded from record levels in most major markets.

“As expected, average price growth has begun to moderate,” said CREA’s chief executive officer, Pierre Beauchamp. “The market for higher-priced homes is expected to continue returning to better balance, which will keep price increases in single-digit territory over the rest of the year,” said Beauchamp.

“Consumer confidence and sentiment about making big-ticket purchases rebounded in July, as the five-year conventional mortgage interest rate edged lower and uncertainties unwound about the federal election outcome,” said CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump. “Full-time job growth will be key to the trend for housing demand over the second half of the year. With higher interest rates expected to inch only slightly higher later this year, economic fundamentals should continue to support strong housing demand over the rest of the year and into the next,” he added.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 73,000 Realtors working through 102 real estate boards, 10 provincial associations and one territorial association.

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