New home-sales record this year

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Rising rates no impediment

Ashley Ford

Led by record-breaking performances in B.C. and Alberta, Canada‘s resale housing market is well on track to setting another selling record this year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said yesterday that sales of existing homes over the first seven months of the year have already eclipsed last year’s performance to date.

Agents sold 40,973 units with a value of $10.1 billion in July, 1.4 per cent over last year. The numbers are seasonally adjusted.

The average price of a re-sale home was $250,567, up 11.8 per cent from July last year.

However the buoyant economies of B.C. and Alberta have seen seven month unit sales rise by 5.5 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively.

Some 64,864 homes were sold in B.C. between January and July compared with 61,505 a year ago.

The value of sales however rose by 19.4 per cent to $2.1 billion from $17 billion reflecting the ever-rising cost of housing here.

The average cost of a resale home in B.C. rose 13.2 per cent over the first seven months from a year ago to $323,758 compared to $286,024.

CREA economist Gregory Klump said the anticipated increase in the bank rate early next month will have little immediate effect on the housing market.

Over the longer term there will be some small impact, he conceded. “The series of small interest rate increases that are expected later this year and in early 2006 will put a small dent in consumer confidence, and will gradually slow housing activity and price gains next year,” he said.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

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