Sales of property in Canada climbed by the highest amount in almost four years last month.
New figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association reveal that sales processed through the MLS system rose 5.9 per cent in May 2014, the biggest month-on-month increase in almost four years.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in May stood 4.8 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year, and 3.8 per cent above the 10-year average for the month of May.
âThe monthly increase in May activity was widespread among local housing markets, with some 80 per cent of them reporting stronger sales compared to April,â said CREA President Beth Crosbie.
Indeed, the widespread increase saw sales jump in four out of every five local housing markets in May, including almost all large urban markets. The largest gains driving the national increase were posted in Calgary, Greater Toronto and Montreal.
âOver the past 25 years, that widespread a monthly sales increase has been recorded only a handful of times," added Crosbie.
As sales rise, confidence among sellers appears to be improving too, with the number of newly listed homes up 3.8 per cent in May, marking a fourth straight monthly gain. New listings were up in about 80 per cent of local markets.
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.1 per cent in May, up from 52.0 per cent in March and April but still well entrenched within the 40 to 60 per cent range that marks balanced market territory.
âIn markets where supply had become tight, we expected sales to improve in tandem with listings,â said Gregory Klump, CREAâs Chief Economist. âHad it not been for such a brutal winter that delayed the launch of the spring market, the improvement in new listings and sales would likely have been more spread out over the past few months.â
Sales continue to drive up house prices by a significant margin, particularly in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canadaâs largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price reaches a relatively more modest $336,373, marking a year-over-year increase of 5.3 per cent.
Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak