Sales of existing homes in Canada sold through the Multiple Listing Service set new monthly and quarterly records, according to June statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association.

A seasonally adjusted total of 42,162 homes traded hands via MLS in June 2005 – up 4 percent from May. This represents the highest activity level on record for a single month on a national basis, and in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

Seasonally adjusted sales activity in June 2005 also surpassed the previous national monthly record – set in March 2004 – by 2.5 percent.

Record sales activity in British Columbia and Alberta helped to push national sales to new quarterly sales records in the second quarter of 2005. On a seasonally adjusted basis, second-quarter sales totaled 122,895 – an increase of 8.2 percent from the first quarter and 2.9 percent higher than the previous quarterly record set one year earlier.

Quarterly sales records were posted in British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Sales activity for the first six months of 2005 was also running ahead of activity levels posted during the first half of 2004. At 254,676 units, actual home sales in the first half of the year were 0.8 percent higher than sales in the first half of 2004. Activity in the first six months of 2005 also represents the second-highest level for seasonally adjusted sales during any six-month period on record.

Three consecutive solid months for new MLS residential listings in the second quarter pushed seasonally adjusted new listings to their second-highest quarterly level on record. The high number of new listings also pushed actual new listings in the first half of 2005 to their highest level since 1990. New residential listings in the first half of 2005 outpaced those in the first six months in all other years in Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The national MLS residential average price set a new all-time monthly record, rising 10.5 percent year-over-year to $252,913 in June. This represents the strongest gain in average price so far this year, which helped push the second-quarter average residential price to its highest quarterly level on record on a national basis and in all 10 provinces.

“A bigger increase in new listings than sales caused the market to become slightly more balanced in the first half of 2005 compared to the first six months of 2004,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “Even so, the national MLS residential average price continued to climb steeply and set new records for the month, quarter, and for the period from January to June.”

“The continuation of low interest rates will keep the resale housing market hot over the rest of the summer,” said Klump. “Short-term interest rates will begin to inch higher in September but they will still be low and attractive, and do little to derail consumer confidence or the resale housing market. The continuation of low interest rates combined with strong employment will keep resale housing demand high over the rest of the year.”


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