Denny Reichard, an agent with Jim Maloof Realtors, right, stands with potential home buyers Brian Giebelhausen and Lindsay Willing outside a previously owned home in Mackinaw, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, April 21, 2014. Existing home sales in the U.S. fell .2 percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Denny Reichard; Brian Giebelhausen; Lindsay Willing Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
The average resale price of a Canadian home continued to march higher, with the national real estate association showing it hit $416,584 in May, a rise of 7.1 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier.
The Canadian Real Estate Association said sales activity in Toronto and Vancouver continue to skew the average price higher. If those two cities are stripped out, the average Canadian home is worth $336,373 while the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5.3 per cent.
Beyond prices, there are signs that the real estate market is red hot in terms of the number of homes being sold.
The volume of sales rose by 5.9 per cent from April to May, the biggest monthly jump in almost four years — although spring is traditionally the strongest time of the year for home sales.
Home sales were higher in 80 per cent of all local markets in Canada, CREA said, but especially so in Calgary, the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal.
"Over the past 25 years, that widespread a monthly sales increase has been recorded only a handful of times," CREA president Beth Crosbie said in a release.
On an annual basis, however, the sales boom is much less evenly balanced. "While the rebound in sales in May was widespread across Canada, looking at year-on-year trends shows a marked divergence between East and West," TD Bank economist Leslier Preston said of the numbers. "Sales are up from B.C. to Ontario, while from Quebec to Atlantic Canada, sales are below their year-ago levels."
With such strong monthly data, it's no surprise that CREA upped its forecast for how many homes it expects to be sold this year.
The realtor agency now expects 463,400 homes to change hands this year, an increase of 1.2 per cent compared with 2013.
Canadian home sales hit an all-time high of more than 520,000 in 2007. They have remained in a range of either just above 450,000 or just below that level every year since then.