Record number of homes hit the market in March
After months of low listings coupled with strong demand, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported resale housing listings hit a record for the month of March, signaling a more balanced housing market.
CREA president Georges Pahud said negotiations still favour sellers in several major Canadian housing markets, but added the rise in new listings means buyers "may shop around more before making an offer."
While the beginning of 2010 marked the fourth highest first quarter for national home sales on record, the CREA said demand is slowing compared to the levels posted at the end of 2009. Higher sales activity in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador was offset by a decline of sales in B.C. and Alberta.
The national average price of a resale home has remained high, hitting $340,920 in March - $300 below the peak reached in October 2009. The CREA also reported that prices in major markets rose 19 per cent year-over-year to $373,835 last month, but said a slowdown was in sight.
"Sales activity in British Columbia and Ontario is expected to ease over the second half of 2010 once the HST comes into effect, pulling national activity lower," said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. "Rising supply and lower activity will take the steam out of the pricing environment following upbeat home sales this spring."