Resale housing activity in Canada’s major markets continued to soar last month, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Seasonally adjusted home sales via the Multiple Listing Service in Canada’s major markets rose to 29,069 units in February, up 0.6 percent compared to January. Sales activity reached the third-highest level for any month on record, and was just 1.6 percent below the highest monthly level on record set in August 2005.

Seasonally adjusted sales reached their highest monthly level on record in Calgary, Edmonton and Hamilton, and surpassed all previous records for the month of February in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo.

Seasonally adjusted MLS residential new listings rose to 45,940 units in February, up 1.6 percent compared to January. The monthly increase in new listings was larger than the increase in sales activity, which caused the market to become slightly more balanced.

The MLS residential average price climbed 12.3 percent year-over-year in February to $283,579, which is its highest level ever. The increase in average price was the largest since May 2004.

The MLS residential average price also reached its highest monthly level on record in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.

“The resale housing market remains tightest in Western Canada,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “A shortage of homes available for sale and the continuation of strong resale housing demand in Western Canada are resulting in substantial price increases there.”

“Although the national resale housing market has so far shown few signs of slowing, rising interest rates and home prices are expected to gradually slow resale housing market activity this year,” Klump said.

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