MLS(R) home sales rebound in the second quarter



    OTTAWA, July 14 /CNW Telbec/ - National resale housing market activity
bounced back strongly in the second quarter of 2009 above levels reported for
the same period last year. Demand continues to rebound sharply in some of the
most expensive markets in the country, skewing the national average price
upward.
    According to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association
(CREA), actual (not seasonally adjusted) home sales, via the Multiple Listing
Service(R) (MLS(R)) of Canadian real estate boards, totaled 147,351 units in
the second quarter of 2009 - the fourth strongest quarterly sales figure ever.
Up 1.4 per cent from the second quarterof 2008, this marks the first
year-over-year increase in quarterly activity since the fourth quarter of
2007.
    On a seasonally adjusted basis, national MLS(R) home sales numbered
114,173 units in the second quarter, jumping up a record 31.5 per cent from
the first quarter of 2009.
    "Potential buyers who moved to the sidelines late last year when economic
uncertainty peaked are returning to the housing market now that the worst of
the recession may be behind us," said Dale Ripplinger, President of The
Canadian Real Estate Association.
    Seasonally adjusted resale activity in the second quarter was up from the
previous quarter in about 85 per cent of local markets. Quarterly activity
increases in Toronto (45 per cent), Vancouver (77 per cent), Montreal (33 per
cent), Calgary (66 per cent) and Edmonton (39 per cent) contributed most to
the national increase in activity.
    Strong upward momentum for monthly sales activity was sustained
throughout the second quarter. June marked the fifth consecutive month in
which activity was up from month-ago levels. Some 41,304 homes traded hands
via the MLS(R) of real estate boards in Canada on a seasonally adjusted basis
in June 2009. This is up 8.7 per cent from May and represents the first time
since January 2008 that monthly activity topped 40,000 units.
    Actual (not seasonally adjusted) MLS(R) home sales climbed 17.9 per cent
year-over-year to 54,616 units in June 2009. This is on par with the record
for the month of June set in 2007 and is the fourth highest level for activity
in any month on record.
    The national MLS(R) residential average sale price reached the highest
quarterly level ever in the second quarter of 2009. At $318,696, the average
sale price was up half a percent from the previous record set in the second
quarter of 2008.
    The national average home price also scaled new heights on a monthly
basis, climbing 3.6 per cent year-over-year to $326,613 in June 2009. However,
only 13 local markets posted new average price records in June, less than a
handful of which are among the most active or expensive. The strong rebound in
sales activity, not price, in Canada's most expensive markets is skewing
average prices upward nationally and in some provinces, just as a sharp
decline in activity in these markets skewed the average lower in late 2008.
    The price trend is similar but less dramatic for the weighted national
MLS(R) average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales
activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned
housing stock.
    The weighted national MLS(R) average sale price was up 1.7 per cent
year-over-year in June 2009 - less than half of the percentage increase in the
unweighted national average price.
    The supply of homes coming onto the MLS(R) market continued retreating in
second quarter. Seasonally adjusted MLS(R) residential new listings were down
16.9 per cent from the previous quarter to 197,049 units, the lowest level
since the fourth quarter of 2005.
    Nationally, the number of months of inventory was 4.2 months in June
2009. This is the lowest level since August 2007, and well down from the
recessionary peak of 12.8 months in January 2009. The number of months of
inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at
the current rate of sales activity. The residential dollar volume for MLS(R)
sales jumped 40.6 per cent on a seasonally adjusted quarter-over-quarter basis
in the second quarter of 2009, to reach $34.8 billion.
    "Low interest rates have improved the affordability of homeownership, as
have price adjustments in housing markets that previously experienced rapid
price increases," said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. "Housing markets
where negotiations recently favoured the buyer have become more balanced and
the stage is being set for modest price appreciation as inventories are drawn
down by sales."
    "Sales momentum remains strong going into the second half of 2009," said
CREA President Dale Ripplinger. "Chances are good that the number of
transactions in the second half of 2009 will surpass levels in the first half
of the year."

    PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both
major market and national MLS(R) sales information from the previous month.
The Canadian Real Estate Association has previously released these separately.
    CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in
establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres
comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential
between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report
includes all housing types.

    MLS(R) is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada's real
estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
    The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest
single-industry trade associations, representing more than 96,000 REALTORS(R)
working through more than 100 real estate Boards and Associations. Further
information can be found at www.crea.ca.

    For the entire release, please visit :
    http://www.crea.ca/public/news_stats/pdfs/media_june09rpt_e.pdf




For further information:

For further information: Alyson Fair, Tel: (613) 237-7111 X 2284,
afair@crea.ca

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