“Sales have improved compared to their slower start earlier this year,” CREA president Beth Crosbie said in a press release. “That said, there are still important differences in how housing markets are faring depending on location, housing type and price point.”
Much of the monthly sales increase was attributed to sharp rises in Greater Vancouver, where housing activity hit its highest level in more than three years, and in Montreal, where activity is now 10 per cent above the post-recession lows that were reached earlier this year.
Seventy-five per cent of local markets across the country experienced sales increases over the year-ago period, contributing to the overall rise in sales. Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington led that hike.
The number of new listings, however, was little changed from May, easing just 0.1 per cent. In May, new listings set a record as the highest level since April 2010.
“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,” Gregory Klump, chief economist at CREA, said in a press release. “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.”
Prices also experienced year-over-year growth, with two-storey single-family homes posting the biggest price increase, at 6.19 per cent. By market, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver led the gains. However, CREA said the national average price in June, which rose 6.9 per cent to $413,215, was skewed by large and expensive markets like Vancouver and Toronto. Excluding these two markets, the average price increased 5.2 per cent to a more modest $336,164.
Looking forward, CREA says it doesn’t expect the market to continue to grow in the same way that it has so far this year.
“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,” Klump said.
According to the June housing report released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, home sales rose 11.2 per cent over the year-ago period. However, sales were steadily rising throughout 2014, as June marked the fifth consecutive month-on-month increase, with a 0.8 per cent boost over May.