Canada’s major-market home sales grew 1.4 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Closed transactions via the Multiple Listing Service numbered 25,558 units in November, up from 25,213 in October.

Seasonally adjusted sales reached their highest level on record for the month of November, and activity in the first 11 months of this year was 2.6 percent higher than for the same period last year. Sales surpassed all previous year-to-date records in a number of major markets, including Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa.

Seasonally adjusted residential new listings remained at historically strong levels, and reached their highest level on record for the month of November. Year-to-date, new listings stood 10 percent higher than for the same period last year. The monthly increase in sales and a decline in listings caused the market to tighten in November.

Major-market MLS residential average price rose 6.2 percent (year-over-year) to $249,847 in November. Year-over-year growth in average price is into mid-to-high single-digit territory in most major markets now, though large double-digit increases were once again posted in a few markets, including Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo and St. John’s.

“Dollar volume, unit sales and average price remain on track to set a new annual record,” said CREA’s chief executive officer, Pierre Beauchamp.

“With economic growth slowing, the Bank as expected by holding its trend-setting Bank rate steady. Had it been unexpectedly raised, the Canadian dollar may have risen further and intensified uncertainties about near-term prospects for Canadian exports,” said CREA’s chief economist, Gregory Klump. “The Bank should keep interest rates steady until at least the spring, taking its time to gauge the impact on the economy and job growth from the rapid rise in the Canada-U.S. currency exchange rate.

“Sales are not expected to reach new heights next year,” Klump said. “With the market becoming more balanced, average resale housing prices are expected to range between 3 and 5 percent beginning in the spring of 2005.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 74,000 Realtors working through 102 real estate Boards, 10 provincial associations, and one territorial association.

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