Home sales spike downplayed by CREA

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Brokers hoping November’s impressive 5.9 per cent rise in home sales bodes well for the coming winter season may be disappointed, with some suggesting the spike may point to just the opposite.

“National sales activity in November stood 3.4 per cent below the peak reached in September, providing further evidence that activity in the later summer and early fall was likely boosted by homebuyers with pre-approved mortgages at lower than current interest rates jumping into the market before their pre-approvals expired,” the CREA report stated.

Actual activity jumped 5.9 per cent year-over-year with gains in Greater Vancouver, Calgary Edmonton, and the GTA leading the way.

"Most housing markets are in balanced market territory, including in many large urban centres where sales are below peaks reached earlier this year," CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump said. "On balance, current trends provide more evidence that the Canadian housing market remains well behaved while interest rates remain low."

A total of 434,678 homes have been sold so far this year and, obliviously, each market in Canada has been affected differently by the recent regulation changes and the housing industry as a whole continues to adjust.

"Tightened mortgage regulations, combined with the recent increase in the five-year mortgage rate, have affected housing markets differently depending on their location," said CREA President Laura Leyser.

As for the national average price for homes sold, November 2013 saw a staggering 9.8 per cent leap over November 2012. The average home price in November 2013 was $391,085.

“Year-over-year price gains were led by one-storey single family homes (+4.88 per cent),” the CREA report stated. “This was closely followed by two-storey single family homes (+4.59 per cent), townhouse/row units (+3.13 per cent) and apartment units (+2.46 per cent).”

However, the increase in housing prices was due, in large part, to major jumps in two of Canada’s largest markets.

“Removing Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto from national average price calculations, the year-over-year increase is more than cut in half to 4.3 per cent,” the report stated.

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