Resale housing markets in Alberta lag in April

Residential MLS sales and price growth in Calgary and in Alberta lagged behind the national averages in april as the housing market showed initial signs of cooling, according to a report released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

CREA said there were 2,382 MLS sales in Calgary last month which was up 7.4 per cent from a year ago. The average sale price was $395,847 for a 6.4 per cent hike from April 2009.

In Alberta, CREA said sales increased by 5.9 per cent to 5,544 units for an average sale price of $355,102, up by 7.7 per cent from a year ago.

Nationally, there were 52,042 MLS transactions in April which was 20.3 per cent higher than April 2009 and the average sale price hit $344,968, a year-over-year increase of 12.2 per cent.

Sales activity across the country came up just short of the record for the month of April which was set in 2007. CREA said seasonally-adjusted national home sales activity slipped 2.6 per cent from the previous month and now stands 6.8 per cent below the peak reached in December 2009.

"The easing trend in national sales activity masks a rising trend in a number of major markets," said CREA president Georges Pahud in a news release.

In April, Calgary experienced a 43.8 per cent jump in new listings to 5,416 units compared with last year while Alberta saw a 31.3 per cent hike to 12,648 units.

Nationally, new listings rose by 28.9 per cent to 99,901 - a new record for the month of April.

"Next month will mark the passage of one year since the national average price rebounded from the recessionary trough to return to the pre-recession peak, so the rise in the national average price is expected to be more subdued next month," said CREA's chief economist Gregory Klump.

"The national average price could potentially be skewed higher over the next couple of months if buyers of higher-priced homes in Ontario and British Columbia move their purchase decision forward to beat the introduction of the HST in July."

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Glen Wada

Glen Wada

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