Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Calgary helps fuel strong MLS sales in Canada
National transactions up more than 18% Y/Y

CALGARY — Led by gains in Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, Canada’s housing market experienced soaring MLS sales in September compared with a year ago.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday that national sales of 38,147 during the month were up 18.2 per cent from September 2012.

That is roughly on par with the 10-year average in September. The 18.2 per cent increase compared to year-ago levels reflects weakened activity at that time, said CREA.

In Calgary, sales rose by 20.5 per cent to 2,475 transactions.

“Currently it is still a strong sellers’ market wherein we are seeing properties in prime locations come on the market and within a day being sold unconditionally for above listed price when priced accordingly,” said Grace Yan, a realtor with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central) in Calgary.

“We are still experiencing vast amounts of relocations from all parts of the world as Calgary’s oil and gas economy remains strong. We are expecting the rest of the year to remain a strong, healthy resale market due to the limitation of suburban developments and the long periods of time to obtain building permits for new builds along with limited public transportation in suburban areas.”

In September, sales year-over-year sales increases were 64.3 per cent in Vancouver (2,524 sales), 26.1 per cent in Toronto (7,411), and 24.8 per cent in Edmonton (1,712).

“Year-over-year increases in the sales over the past couple of months highlights how activity softened across much of the country following the introduction of tighter mortgage rules last summer,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

“While the momentum for sales activity began improving a few months ago, it may be losing steam after having only just climbed back in line with an average of the past 10 years. Even so, one can see large year-on-year changes when comparing activity to a month like September 2012, when sales dropped to the lowest level for that month in more than a decade.”

CREA also said Calgary had the highest year-over-year increase in the MLS Home Price Index at 7.28 per cent. The aggregate for the 11 centres surveyed across Canada was 3.13 per cent. The index looks at benchmark properties in those centres.

Calgary average MLS sale price rose just slightly under the national average in September. It was up 8.2 per cent year-over-year to $435,934. Across Canada, the national average sale price was up 8.8 per cent to $385,906.

CREA said MLS sales in Alberta increased by 20.8 per cent in September to 5,694 while the average sale price was up 7.4 per cent to $381,308.

Diana Petramala, economist with TD Economics, said no two major markets in the country are the same.
“Momentum may prove more lasting in markets with fewer excesses, like Calgary and Edmonton where homes appear fairly valued and sales are being supported by decent labour markets and population growth,” she said.

Robert Kavcic, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, said sellers in Calgary still have a slight upper hand.

Photos By: Nacoki

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