The Canadian Real Estate Association has just released its statistics for October which showed sales activity is now at its highest level since January. National sales activity for the month was in line for the ten-year average, as are year-to-date sales.
The number of newly listed homes has changed very little during the last three months, and the combination of stable new listings and stronger sales has resulted in the housing market remaining balanced. Average prices have increased by 5.5% compared to October 2010 which is the smallest increase since January. The number of homes sold through MLS increased by 1.2% last month compared to September, and just over 50% of markets showed monthly sales increases. Gary Morse, president of CREA, commented that concerns about global economic uncertainty don’t seem to have deterred homebuyers, especially as interest rates look set to remain low for some time to come.
The figures the actual home sales show them to be in line with ten-year averages, and even though sales levels are up 8.5% compared to a year ago the gain is largely due to a pickup in sales activity following a quiet period. All in all 397,561 homes have been sold through the Canadian MLS system this year which is a 1.8% increase on the same period last year, but is well within ten-year averages.
Gregory Klump, chief economist for the CREA is forecasting a period of slower but still positive economic growth for Canada, with the housing market being supported by consumer confidence, low interest rates and high employment levels. However much does depend on how the global economic crisis unfolds during the coming months. All the signs are that buyers are still confident in the Canadian economy’s ability to withstand global economic risks.