Published on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 9:36AM EDT Last updated on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 10:11AM EDT
Canadians bought homes at a record pace in the third quarter, with strong sales in the priciest cities helping to drive prices 11 per cent higher than last year.
The Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday 135,182 units were sold from July to September, an increase of 18 per cent from the third quarter last year and the most ever sold in the third quarter.
“Momentum for sales activity remained strong throughout the third quarter,” said Dale Ripplinger, president of the real estate group. “Low interest rates, rebounding consumer confidence and an improving overall sense of economic security continue to draw home buyers to the housing market.”
On a seasonally adjusted basis, a method which tries to smooth out the data and take things such as seasons and one-time events into account, sales were 127,941 – an increase of 12 per cent for the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, sales continued to increase in September, 1.5 per cent higher than in August at 42,958. The increase pulls the seasonally adjusted activity 63 per cent higher than the low hit in January.
The busiest markets year-over-year were Toronto and Vancouver, with the number of units changing hands up 28 per cent and 124 per cent respectively. Sales in those cities helped pull the average sale price to $327,736.
“The national average price continues to be skewed upward by a sustained increase in sales activity, including a sharp rebound in activity at the higher end of the price spectrum, in some of Canada's priciest markets,” Mr. Ripplinger said.
While average prices have now increased 15 per cent compared to the same time last year, not all markets have fared that well. Halifax has seen the steepest drop with average prices fall 6.2 per cent, with Sudbury close behind with a decrease of 5.1 per cent.
Newfoundland and Labrador led the year-over-year gainers, with prices increasing 14.5 per cent from last September. Greater Vancouver saw prices increase 14 per cent