Canada’s Property Market Returning To Normal

Canada’s property market appears to be returning to normal after the recession lows, and subsequent recovery highs. It seems that the government regulations implemented earlier in the year …

Canada’s property market appears to be returning to normal after the recession lows, and subsequent recovery highs. It seems that the government regulations implemented earlier in the year are working. For more on the Canadian property market, read the following article from Property Wire.
National resale real estate activity in Canada is continuing its return to normal levels, having risen in November 2010 for the fourth consecutive month, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service Systems of Canadian real estate Boards climbed 4.8% in November 2010 although this is still well short of record level activity for the month of November posted a year ago.
Seasonally adjusted sales now stand 19.5% above levels recorded in July 2010, when it reached this year’s low point, the report also shows.
Sales activity rose in many local markets but eased in others. Seasonally adjusted activity was up from October levels in two thirds of all local markets, including eight of Canada’s ten most active markets. 
Month on month increases were reported in Calgary, up 2.6%, Edmonton up 6.9%, Fraser Valley up 10.5%, London & St. Thomas up 6.5%, Montreal up 8.2%, Ottawa up 4.2%, Toronto up 6% and Greater Vancouver up 11.3%.
While these markets accounted for more than half of national activity in November, actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity in November 2010 was 9.3% below levels in November 2009.
However, the persistence of large year over year declines from last year’s record levels has been masking the steady improvement in national sales activity since July 2010, the report said. A comparison of November sales activity to sales for the same month in previous years suggests that activity is currently running at more normal levels.
The number of new residential listings edged down 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis in November. New listings remain 14.6% below the peak reached in April 2010.
But the report says that the national housing market has been firming up since July 2010 due to improving sales activity and a muted rise in new listings, and overall remains balanced. About 60% of local markets in Canada were in balanced market territory in November. Of the remaining 40%, three quarters of these markets have a sales to new listings ratio consistent with a being classified as a sellers’ market.
‘An increase in new listings is likely to return many sellers markets to balanced territory over the coming months. With sales activity having returned to better health and a firm floor under prices, sellers who previously shied away from putting their home on the market are expected to list their home in response to improved housing demand in recent months,’ said   Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.
The national average price for homes sold in November 2010 was $344,268, up 2% from November 2009. Nearly two thirds of local markets recorded a year on year increase in average price. In recent months, the national average price has been influenced by rising prices but fewer sales in some of Canada’s priciest markets compared to one year ago.
‘Following the chilling lows at the onset of the recent recession and the dizzying heights during the subsequent recovery, the national housing market appears to be returning to some semblance of normalcy,’ said Klump. 
‘Changes to mortgage regulations earlier this year were prudent and sufficient, striking the right balance between preventing speculative housing market activity and keeping homeownership affordability within reach for creditworthy home buyers. That’s a good thing, since housing activity helped support Canadian economic growth this year. Rising interest rates and weaker expected job growth are likely to contribute to softer prospects for housing market activity and average price growth next year, reflecting weakening economic growth prospects,’ he added.
This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at Property Wire, an international real estate news site.

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