Metro sees surge in housing resales

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Oct. sales up 170% from 2008, most in country


Greater Vancouver posted the nation’s highest increase in resale-home activity last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association says.

Home sales in the area in October surged 170.8 per cent from a year earlier, comfortably ahead of Victoria’s 135-per-cent jump and Toronto’s 64.2-per-cent rise, the association said.

The Vancouver area’s average house price reached $638,948 in October, up 14.8 per cent from the same month last year.

Victoria, which has the nation’s second-highest average price at $481,500, saw year-over-year prices rise 2.6 per cent.

Toronto home prices posted the highest increase in Canada last month, rising 20 per cent to $423,507 from last year.

Nationally, home sales hit a new record high in October, leading the association to boost its outlook for 2009 and 2010.

Resale home activity was up 41.5 per cent in the month, reaching a total of 42,288 units. On a seasonally adjusted basis, homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service totalled 45,818 units in October.

“Low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continue to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year,” association president Dale Ripplinger said.”The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories.”

Further, said Millan Mulraine, economics strategist at TD Securities, “we expect the recent strong gains in the housing market to remain largely intact, though we suspect that the back-to-back double-digit advance in sales seen earlier this year may not be repeated.”

As a result of the sector’s strong performance, the association boosted its forecast for sales in 2009 by 6.6 per cent to 460,200 units. For 2010, the national industry group said sales would rise seven per cent to 492,300 units.

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