Newfoundland & Labrador also recorded a strong March for sales, which rose 24 per cent, while sales in Manitoba were up 11.5 per cent.
Alberta, however, faced a 20.5 per cent year-over-year drop in total March sales, as lower oil values continue to put pressure on the local real estate market. Fort McMurray, Lloydminster and Calgary faced the greatest drop-offs in sales – down 39.3 per cent, 42.3 per cent and 30.1 per cent, respectively. However, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat each recorded an increase in sales compared to March 2014.
On the national front, home prices were also up, hiking 9.4 per cent to $439,144. In Toronto, prices rose 10.1 per cent to $613,933, as condo prices increased 4.3 per cent to $372,827. While total prices were up 11.2 per cent in Vancouver, at $891,652, they were dampened by a 0.9 per cent slip in condo prices, at $465,658.
Excluding Toronto and Vancouver, the national average home sales price was up just 2.4 per cent over last year, at $332,711.
“Low mortgage interest rates are good news for affordability as we head into the spring home buying season,” said CREA president Pauline Aunger. “This spring should see buyers coming off the sidelines in places where winter was anything but mild.”
New listings were up 7.6 per cent across the country, compared to March last year. Manitoba and Saskatchewan posted the greatest gains – up 34.7 per cent and 15.5 per cent, respectively – which were offset by steep declines Nova Scotia
and Prince Edward Island as homebuyers increasingly take advantage of historically low interest rates.
Compared to February, new listings were up just 1.8 per cent.