Canada’s major-market home sales rose 0.2 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Seasonally adjusted existing-home sales numbered 25,639 units in January, up from 25,595 for the previous month and 3.4 percent higher than in January 2004.

New listings rebounded in January, having jumped 9.4 percent compared to December 2004. The rise in new listings extended the trend toward a more balanced resale housing market that began early last year.

With the resale housing market becoming more balanced, price increases are becoming smaller. The MLS residential average price for major markets in January 2005 climbed 7.6 percent year-over-year.

“More new listings means a greater selection of homes in many regions, which is good news for home buyers,” said CREA’s chief executive officer, Pierre Beauchamp.

According to MLS reports from real estate boards across Canada, existing-home sales set a new record in 2004, as 461,844 dwellings were sold through the Multiple Listing Service. The average MLS sales price increased by 9.7 percent in 2004, slightly greater than the increase reported for 2003.

“After those record sales levels, an increase in new listings and a return to a more normal pace of sales activity are expected to bring the resale housing market into a more balanced position in 2005,” said CREA’s chief economist, Gregory Klump. “And as the resale housing market becomes more balanced, the size of average price increases will moderate to between 3 and 5 percent.”

In January, the number of new listings added to the MLS increased in a number of markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 75,000 Realtors working through 102 real estate Boards, 10 provincial associations, and one territorial association.

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