Sales outlook brightens nationwide
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For examples, visit he Canadian Real Estate Association says it expects 2011 to end up being a year of rising sales, reversing its previous call on housing sales to slow.
The Ottawa-based industry group, which represents about 100 boards across the country, now says there will be 450,800 sales in 2011 — nearly a one per cent increase from a year ago. CREA had been forecasting a decline of one per cent.
Vancouver’s pricing environment continues to impact the country as it helped pushed CREA’s forecast for the average sale price in 2011 to $363,500, a 7.2 per cent increase from a year ago.
The group now expects 2012 sales to be down less than one per cent, while in 2012 prices are forecast to be flat.
“While there had been some talk of potential interest rate increases, that hasn’t happened,” says CREA president Gary Morse.
“In fact, rates have actually come down, and are now expected to remain low for the remainder of this year and into 2012.”
The new forecast comes on the same day as July numbers from CREA showed actual sales across the country were up 12.3 per cent from a year ago. Year-to-date sales are 1.6 per cent lower than a year ago.
The national average price for homes sold in July 2011 was $361,181 — the lowest level since January — but up 9.3 per cent from a year ago.
CREA said the increase was attributable to a short-lived decline in the average price following the introduction of the harmonized sales tax in British Columbia and Ontario, and tighter mortgage regulations earlier in 2010.
Chief economist Greg Klump cautions not to read too much into the average price statistics.
“Changes in the national average home price are open to being misinterpreted,” says Klump.
“They often signify changes in the mix of sales activity across and within local markets, rather than a rising or falling price trend for typical homes in a specific market.”
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Home sales Canada-wide are expected to show an increase this year.