Housing uptick a good sign: RE/MAX

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Pent-up demand, along with low interest rates and greater affordability were behind the June rebound in residential housing sales in Canada and “a clear signal” that the sector has shifted into recovery mode, RE/MAX said Monday.

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Pent-up demand, along with low interest rates and greater affordability were behind the June rebound in residential housing sales in Canada and “a clear signal” that the sector has shifted into recovery mode, RE/MAX said Monday.

Toronto and Vancouver led the charge, with June sales among the highest in history for both cities’ local real estate boards, RE/MAX said.

The company, part of a global network of real-estate agents, said “more balanced” after six to eight months when buyers had an upper hand.

It said major markets began to recover in March, posting escalating sales in April, May and June.

Most centres are forecasting year-end sales on par or ahead of 2008 levels. RE/MAX said.

Close to 11,000 properties changed hands in Toronto, up 27 per cent over June 2008, setting a sales record for the month and just slightly off the all-time peak of 11,146 units.

Residential sales in Greater Vancouver increased 75.6 per cent over the year-earlier period to 4,259 units, just short of the record 4,333 sales of June 2005, RE/MAX said.

Overall, average prices held steady or climbed in June, while the number of days houses remained on the market was down as inventory levels continue to tighten, especially at entry-level price points, it said.

RE/MAX attributed the recent surge in resale activity to three key factors: pent-up demand, low interest rates, and greater affordability.

“The combination — in conjunction with declining inventory levels — has created heated market conditions in hot pocket neighbourhoods, prompting a resurgence in multiple offers in June,” it said.

“Although the current pace may be unsustainable, all markers point to greater stability in the market, leading to healthier activity in the long run, with inventory levels a key variable influencing pent-up demand,” it said.

RE/MAX is one of Canada’s leading real-estate organizations, with over 17,000 sales associates working in more than 650 independently-owned and operated offices across the country.

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