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Canada’s housing resale market was stable in August

The resale housing market in Canada held relatively steady in August for the second consecutive month, according to a report by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The real estate body said in its report that home sales posted a big gain in comparison to last year, even with steady home sales in August compared with July.

The national average price for resale homes rose 7.7 per cent to $349,916 from the same period a year ago.

For the first time this year, year-to-date sales have trumped 2010 levels but remain in line with the 10-year average, according to the association.  

Toronto and Ottawa saw a monthly increase in activity while Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver saw activity somewhat decline.

The number of newly listed homes was little changed from July to August, keeping
“the national housing market firmly planted in balanced territory,” the CREA said.

The national sales to new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, the CREA said, was 51.6 per cent in August, unchanged compared with July.  

As a result, the resale housing inventory, the number of months it would take to sell all homes at the current sales activity level, was 6.2 months at the end of August for the country. This is little changed from 6.1 months at the end of July, and has remained stable since April.

The CREA said there were more balanced local markets in Canada in August than at any other time on record.

In August, the Toronto Stock Exchange and major markets suffered steep losses and whether it would affect Canadian housing sales was unknown.

“The housing market in Canada remained on a firm footing in August when compared to volatile financial markets,” CREA president Gary Morse said in a release.

“Through their actions, homebuyers are showing that they remain confident about the stability of the Canadian housing market, and recognize that the continuation of low interest rates represents an excellent opportunity to buy their first home or trade up.”

According to the CREA, actual August sales – those not seasonally adjusted – were 15.8 per cent above national levels recorded last year, making it the largest year-over-year increase since last April.

So far, 324,030 homes were sold using the CREA’s Multiple Listing Service this year.