Home sales continue to cool in June all over Canada

Statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show that the number of newly listed homes and sales activity declined in June 2010.

Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards receded 8.2 per cent in June from the previous month. Led by lower activity in Toronto and Calgary, sales declined in almost 70 per cent of local markets.

Tightened mortgage regulations and anticipated interest rate increases cooled sales activity throughout the second quarter, resulting in a decline of 13.3 per cent from near-record levels in the first quarter. As expected, these two national factors contributed to a widespread decline in activity, with transactions down in all but a dozen or so smaller markets.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity was 19.7 per cent lower in June 2010 compared to last year, when activity almost reached a new record for the month. Actual sales activity in the second quarter stood 2.8 per cent below levels reported in the second quarter of 2009. For the year-to-date, transactions are up 13.6 per cent compared to the first-six months of last year. This gap is expected to shrink as the year progresses, since activity trended upward over the second half of last year and is forecast to continue easing over the second half of 2010.

"The housing market is becoming more challenging for sellers," said CREA President Georges Pahud. "Buyers are in less of a hurry, so sellers should consult with their local REALTOR® on how to best price and present their home to attract purchase offers."

"National home sales activity is easing due to fewer and more cautious first-time home buyers," said Chief Economist Gregory Klump. "With interest rates on the rise, housing affordability and home sales activity are expected to continue to erode over the second half of 2010. While the pricing environment is becoming more challenging, a recovering economy and job market will provide support for housing activity and prices."