Existing home sales dip 0.5 percent in May

Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:02pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's residential resale market cooled slightly in May and while house prices continued to climb they did so at a more moderate pace, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Friday.

Existing home sales in major markets fell 0.5 percent to 26,902 units in May from April, according to CREA, which represents more than 94,000 realtors.

The average house price rose 1.1 per cent to C$337,071 from the year before. CREA said that while this is a record high for the average price, it marks the smallest year-over-year increase in more than seven years.

"Unlike the situation in the United States, resale housing prices in Canada continue to increase," said CREA President, Calvin Lindberg. "The evolving market, however, means the increase in average price is below the double-digit percentages reported during the record-setting years of 2006 and 2007."

The number of newly listed properties also hit a record in May, up 2.2 percent from April at 54,029 units. CREA said this creates a market where supply and demand are more balanced.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)