|House listings hit March record|
Apr 15, 2010 CBC News
New listings in Canada's housing market hit a record level of 97,663 in March 2010, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday.The March figure is 20 per cent higher than the same month in 2009. A total of 233,402 new listings have come on stream since the beginning of the year, more than in any other first quarter on record, the agency said.
"The rise in new listings means that buyers may shop around more before making an offer," CREA president Georges Pahud said in a release.
Demand for housing is still strong, but has receded a bit from the record levels of late 2009, the agency said.
The record number of new listings, coupled with a slight decline in demand, is leading to a more balanced market, the agency said.
The agency also expects new mortgage rules set to come into effect on April 19 and higher mortgage rates, which Canada's major lenders have already started to implement, will take a bit of the energy away from a housing market that has been red hot in recent months.
“Higher mortgage interest rates and the rise in new listings may also soon reduce some of the urgency to purchase in Toronto," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said. "[And] the erosion of housing affordability is crimping activity in some of Canada’s priciest markets in the lower mainland of British Columbia."
Average price $340,920
The inventory level currently sits at 4.4 months, the CREA said. Inventory is the number of months it would take to sell the current number of listings at the current sales pace. A year ago, inventory levels were at 6.7 months.
A total of 43,621 homes traded hands through the MLS system in March, an increase of 1.4 per cent over February.
The national average price of homes sold in March was $340,920. This is the second highest national average price on record, just $300 below the peak reached last October.
On an annual basis, the national average home price was up 17.6 per cent compared to March 2009.
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