Canada home resales, prices slip in June

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:30pm EDT
 
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Sales and prices of existing homes in Canada fell in June, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on Monday, adding to recent data that has signaled the country's long real estate boom is starting to fade.

Home resales dropped 1.3 percent in June from May, and from a year earlier they were down 4.4 percent. It was the first year-over-year fall since April 2011, the industry group for Canadian real estate agents said.

More than half of the local markets that CREA tracks across the country reported a year-on-year drop in the number of sales in June, with Vancouver and Toronto, which have been the hottest markets, both declining.

The average price for homes sold in June was C$369,339 ($362,097) on a national basis, down 0.8 per cent from the same month last year, with Vancouver prices falling 13.3 percent from June 2011.

But CREA said prices stayed vibrant in some markets, rising in Calgary and staying strong in Toronto. CREA's recently launched MLS home price index, which tracks home price trends in just five major markets, rose 5.1 percent in June from May, with most gains coming in those two cities.

The number of newly listed homes climbed 1.4 percent from May.

"Today's report provides more evidence that the housing market is beginning to come down to earth," said Francis Fong, an economist at TD Economics.

"The pace of activity in the market over the past few years was simply unsustainable given the economic backdrop, and was mainly being fueled by the record low level of interest rates."   Continued...