“July sales picked up in markets that struggled to gain traction in the spring, while activity eased slightly in some of Canada’s largest urban market,” CREA president Beth Crosbie said in a press release.
New listings in Vancouver were down six per cent in July, though the total dollar value of sales rose nearly 12 per cent. In Toronto, meanwhile, the total dollar value of sales was up almost 16 per cent, driven largely by increases in the average sale price and the number of units sold.
Sales activity for the year-to-date period rose nearly five per cent across Canada, which CREA reports is in line with the 10-year average for the seven-month period. The rise was driven by sharp increases in the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta, while the Atlantic provinces each posted declines.
“Low mortgage interest rates continue to bolster home sales activity,” says Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “With the Bank of Canada widely expected to hold interest rates steady until next year, mortgage financing will remain attractive over the second half 2014 and continue to support Canadian economic growth while waiting for Canadian exports and investment to improve.”
The Canadian housing market is still strong, despite concerns that a weak spring market would impact July sales. Instead, unit sales across Canada rose 7.2 per cent in July to 42,000, while the dollar value of those sales spiked 12.5 per cent to $19.3 billion.