National Real Estate Sales Set Record in March 2016

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The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is reporting that national home sales posted their third monthly increase in March 2016 and broke all previous monthly records.

Statistic highlights:

  • National home sales rose by 1.5% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 12.2% compared to March 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.4% from February to March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 9.1% year-over-year in March.
  • The national average sale price rose 15.7% on a year-over-year basis in March (net of Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it climbed by 10.4 percent year-over-year).

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 1.5 percent month-over-month to set a new all-time record in March 2016. Though sales edged lower in Greater Vancouver (-0.3%) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (-1.8% m-m), both remain near record highs reached the month before.

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Sales in March were up from the previous month in about 60 percent of all local markets, including Victoria, Chilliwack, the Okanagan Region, Edmonton, Calgary, Woodstock-Ingersoll, Kingston, Barrie and Montreal.

"Greater Vancouver and the GTA are heading into the spring home buying season with soaring demand and a shortage of listings," said CREA President Cliff Iverson. "Meanwhile, other major urban markets in Canada are well balanced or are amply supplied. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future."

"Single family home sales in the Lower Mainland of BC and the GTA set new records for the month of March in the range between a-half and one-million dollars – as did sales above a million dollars," said Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "Meanwhile, sales below a half-a-million dollars, which were not subject to recently tightened mortgage regulations, are being increasingly restrained in these markets by a short supply of listings. If current sales and listings trends persist, price gains may pick up further this spring."

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Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 12.2 percent from one year ago and set a new record for the month of March. It also stood 14.2 percent above the 10-year average for the month.

It surpassed year-ago levels among nearly two-thirds of all local markets, with B.C.'s Lower Mainland and the GTA contributing most to the year-over-year increase in national activity. Sales in a number of other markets in B.C. and Ontario also posted double-digit gains, with Chilliwack sales double what they were one year ago.

Read more at the Canadian Real Estate Association