CREA raises sales forecast based on strong Ontario activity


Stronger than anticipated MLS sales in Ontario helped raise the national total by 1.2%, and convinced the Canada Real Estate Association (CREA) to up its resale housing forecast from a 0.9% gain in 2011 to a gain of 1.4%.

“The continuing strength of home sales activity in the face of ongoing financial market volatility speaks volumes about the confidence of Canadians in our housing market,” said Gary Morse, CREA’s president. “Interest rates look like they’ll remain at levels that are friendly to the housing market for some time to come, and that’s good news for Canadian home sales activity and the overall economy.”

Ontario sales are forecast to rise 1.2% in 2011, compared to 1.4% nationally, but CREA said in a press release the province showed the most significant upward shift recently.

“Activity came in broadly in line with expectations across much of the country in the third quarter of 2011 with the exception of Ontario,” said the CREA release. “Sales there came in stronger than anticipated in a number of regions over the summer, but were held aloft mostly by Toronto activity as the third quarter ended.”

In terms of price, CREA predicted the national average would increase 7% in 2011, then remain the same at $362,700 a year later by the end of 2012.

Leading exceptions in 2012 on the positive price end will be Manitoba, up 4.9% to $246,000, and Quebec, up 3.3% to $269,900, said CREA.

British Columbia will see prices drop 1.8%, however, coming up 11.5% gains to remain the only province over $500,000 at $563,500 this year. No other province will see a price declined in 2012, said CREA, although Ontario and New Brunswick will remain essentially neutral.

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