CREA May numbers mixed

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New residential listings inched upward for May compared to the same month last year, thanks to a significant drop in B.C. homes on the market, according to the latest numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Overall numbers for Canada showed 99,275 new listings for May, slightly more than the 99,234 from May 2012. While Ontario and Quebec posted slightly better numbers with a 2.8 per cent and 1.2 per cent increase, respectively, B.C. recorded a whopping 12.5 per cent drop, moving from 18,824 new listings in 2012 down to 16,467 for last month.
Newly listed homes were up 1.9 per cent for May compared to April nationwide.
The actual number of home sales also rose, 3.6 per cent, on a month-over-month basis in May 2013 from April, its largest monthly gain in almost two and a half years, according to CREA.
“Until recently, mixed sales trends across the country taken together had resulted consistently in a stable national trend,” said Gregory Klump, chief economist for CREA. “The pop in Canada’s resale housing numbers adds one more to a series of upbeat economic indicators that exceeded expectations in recent weeks. It’s important not to put too much stock in one month’s worth of data, but taken together with other recently published economic gauges, Canadian resale housing market results provide further evidence of the widely anticipated firming trend for Canadian economy.”
The increase lifted national activity almost to where it had been just before new mortgage rules came into force last summer, marking the first noteworthy increase in the past nine months.
Sales activity for the same period year-over-year was down nationwide, with the majority of provinces recording negative numbers – although B.C. only dipped slightly by 0.7 per cent from 7,715 in May 2012 to 7,664 for 2013.
Alberta remains the engine of growth, recording a 3.2 per cent growth of 7,209 sales for May of this year, while the other two prairie provinces stumbled, with Saskatchewan dropping 4.2 per cent and Manitoba falling 5.6 per cent compared to last year.
Ontario sales dropped 2.1 per cent from 23,569 to 23,093, avoiding their provincial neighbour’s calamitous 2013 numbers, as Quebec plummeted 8 per cent, recording 8,187 sales last month compared to 8,898 from May 2012.
By city, Toronto condo numbers fell 12.6 per cent in total sales from May of last year, similar to Vancouver, which dropped 13.5 per cent. Although Toronto’s average price held ground, increasing 0.9 per cent to $341,277 for May 2013, Vancouver prices fell 3 per cent from $451,611 in May 2012 to $438,151 last month.
Calgary’s phenomenal growth continued, as total sales grew 10.5 per cent over last year, with condo prices rising to $288,693 for May 2013 compared to $265,361 for the same month last year – a  8.8 per cent rise.

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