Another Record-Breaking Month

September was another record-breaking month for the resale housing market around the country, capping off a very busy and active summer. Inventory levels rose from last month but remain lower than September 2008, and that low supply coupled with continued strong demand for resale housing helped nudge selling prices higher.

The increased demand we saw in the spring has carried forward, buoyed by low interest rates and housing prices that, despite inching up in some areas, remain more economical in most areas.

Some urban areas like the Greater Toronto Area saw a noticeably high demand and sometimes competing offers forcing the prices up when compared to the same month last year.

“This recession has been a tricky one. Consumers were expecting the worse yet the housing rebound came faster than expected. I think it is safe to say the worst is behind us, but it will take some time for consumers to really shake off their economic jitters,” said Diane Scott, president elect of the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Similar sales activity is expected to remain throughout the fourth quarter of 2009. Market stability will continue to improve as inventory levels decline.


Below is a brief summary of sales activities in some areas across the country:

Ontario – Housing market rebound continues in September

Toronto, October 5, 2009 - In September 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,196 sales, up 28% from September 2008. The average price for September transactions was $406,877—up by 10% compared to the same month last year.

“We have experienced an increasing rate of existing home price growth in the GTA as sales have continued outpace 2008 results,” said Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) President Tom Lebour. “Consumers have remained confident in housing ownership as a long-term investment.”

Year-to-date sales, at 66,437 were up 4.5% compared to the first nine months of 2008. Average price, at $388,417 was up by almost 1.5%.

“Existing home sales will finish strong this year, pushing through the 80,000 mark and moving in line with some of the best years on record under the current TREB market area,” according to Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

In September, the median price was $347,000, from the $322,000 recorded during September of 2008.

Hamilton, October 5, 2009 – The Hamilton-Burlington area resale market reported a total of 1,216 units sold in September, indicating an increase of 20% over the same month last year. The total unit sales for the first three quarters of 2009 are being reported at 2.6% lower for the same period last year, while new units listed are 8.8% lower for the year-to-date. 

The average price of freehold residential properties sold in the month of September was $324,868, an increase of 6% over September last year. In the condominium market the average price of condominiums in September was $229,462, an increase of 7.8% over September 2008.

The total number of units listed for sale during September was 1,761, which is 3.9%  fewer than were listed in the same period in 2008, but 18% more than were listed in August.

Ottawa, October 5, 2009 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,220 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,204 in September 2008, an increase of 1.3%.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in September in the Ottawa area was $304,789, an increase of 5.7% over September 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $241,458, an increase of 17.3% over September 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $322,960, an increase of 4.1% over September 2008.

British Columbia – Demand for housing remains steady in the Fraser Valley

Surrey, October 2, 2009 - Low interest rates continue to fuel a strong housing market in the Fraser Valley according to Paul Penner, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The Board processed 1,590 sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in September, an increase of 62% compared to the 980 sales during the same month last year, however, 11% fewer sales compared to August’s 1,786 sales.

The average price of a detached home in September was $491,404 a decrease of 1.5% compared to September 2008, when it was $498,822. In the last three months, the average price of a detached home has increased by 4.2%.

Alberta – Recovery continues in Calgary housing market

Calgary, October 1, 2009 – Calgary home prices show signs of stability as recovery in the housing market begins to take hold.

The average price of a single family Calgary metro home in September 2009 was $459,085, showing an increase of 1% from August 2009, and an increase of 3% from September 2008. The average price of a Calgary metro condominium was $290,253, a 2% increase from August 2009.

September saw 1,257 single family homes sold in Calgary metro. This is an increase of 9% over September 2008, and a 2% decrease August of this year. The number of condominium sales for the month of September 2009 was 580, an increase of 25% from September and an 8% decrease of transactions recorded last month.

Indeed the market is harder to predict in these early stages of recovery,” says Diane Scott, president elect of the Calgary Real Estate Board.  “Sales were stronger than expected in the summer months—easing slightly in September. We expect a gradual and measured uptake in sales as we enter the fall market.”

Nova Scotia - A dull market is a good market in real estate

Nova Scotia, September 16, 2009 – The Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® announced today that the average price for MLS® home sales from June to August was $197,007, up 5.7% over the same three months in 2008.

A total of 3,436 homes sold Nova Scotia from June to August 2009, only down 3.5% from one year earlier. The dollar value of these home sales totalled $676.9 million during the period, up 2% year-over-year.

“We are pleased to see the numbers coming close to what they were during this period last year. It’s the highs and lows in real estate that seem to get the most attention among media and the public, but it’s balance that we as an Association enjoy reporting most,” says Linda Smardon, President of the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS®. “When we achieve balance in the market it means good opportunities for buyers and sellers and ultimately, that’s what makes for a healthy market and strong economy.”

While Nova Scotia’s market is currently still leaning towards a buyer’s market, the new residential listings on the MLS® system continue to decline. At 7,542 units, they are down 6.9% from June to August 2008.

In Halifax-Dartmouth, there were 2,072 MLS® home sales from June to August, an increase of 0.8% from the previous year. The total value of sales was $490 million, up 5% year over year.

In the area covered by the Annapolis Valley Real Estate Board, there were 423 MLS® home sales from June to August, a decrease of 3.9%. The total value of these home sales amounted to $62.4 million, a 0.5% increase from the dollar volume of one year earlier.

Saskatchewan - The real estate market was brisk in the month September

Saskatoon, October 2, 2009 -  REALTORS® assisted 351 homebuyers in the purchase of a home, that number up 43% from September 2008. The residential year to date unit sales number stands at 3,048 up 3% from 2008.

The average residential selling price in September was $279,457.00, down 6% from September 2008 indicating more activity in the low to middle price range homes. The average selling price has remained steady throughout 2009 beginning in January at $278,545 reaching a high in July of $283,871. The strongest sales activity remains in the $300-$350,000 dollar price range.

Listing inventory continued to correct with fewer properties being listed and more current inventory being sold. In September, 516 new listing where on the market, this is a 37% down from September 2008. Home buyers had 1,097 properties to choose from at the end of September.

Sales activity in surrounding communities remained strong with 119 homes being sold up 65% from September 2008 when 72 homes exchanged hands. The average selling price was $271,401 up 18% from September 2008 when the average selling price was $229,271.