June home sales rise from May and from year ago

OTTAWA — Canadian home sales heated up in June to their best pace since March 2010 after a sluggish start to the year due to the frigid winter and late spring.

OTTAWA — Canadian home sales heated up in June to their best pace since March 2010 after a sluggish start to the year due to the frigid winter and late spring.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday that sales through its Multiple Listings Service in June were up 0.8 per cent from May as sales were up in about half of the markets tracked last month with the Vancouver region and Montreal leading the way.

Compared with a year ago, sales were 11.2 per cent higher led by Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington.

The national average sale price was up 6.9 per cent from June 2013 at $413,215.

“At least some of the recent burst in new supply reflects the slow start to the year, when a harsh winter caused many sellers to delay listing their home in many parts of the country,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said in a statement.

“In markets with tight supply and strong demand, the strength of sales in recent months reflects how many properties were snapped up once they finally hit the market.

Because the impact of deferred listings and sales has likely run its course, activity over the second half of the year may not be able to maintain the kind of pace we’ve seen over the past couple of months.”

CREA said the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 per cent in June, up slightly from 53.2 per cent in May, but still within the range for a balanced market.

Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic noted that sales through the first six months of the year were up 4.2 per cent compared with a year ago.

“Canada’s housing market continues to look balanced overall, with stark disparities persisting at the regional level,” Kavcic wrote in a note to clients.

“That said, it is a tad concerning that prices are running firmly ahead of income growth in a few major cities. Calgary is understandable and Vancouver is shaking off a mild correction, but Toronto might be getting too hot for its own good.”

The health of the Canadian housing market has been scrutinized and debated.

The majority of economists believe the market is headed for a soft landing after years of robust growth, however some have raised concerns about a steeper drop.

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