April home sales fall 3% from year ago

This most recent dip compares to a decline or more than 15 per cent recorded in March, with transactions down in more than 90 per cent of all local markets, according to the latest statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Sales were down in some 60 per cent of local market last month, although the actual national average price for homes sold in April was $380,588, representing an increase of 1.3 per cent from the same month in 2012.

Still, CREA is focusing on month-on-month gains, pointing to home sales processed through the MLS in April that were 0.6 per cent higher than those for March 2013.

"The Easter holiday and an extra full weekend at the end of the month lowered March sales activity and the absence of these factors in April helped sales for the month," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist. Home sales in March and April were most prominent in Greater Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Victoria.

The number of newly listed homes fell 0.9 per cent month-over-month in April. New listings were down in about half of all local markets, led by Montreal and much of rural Quebec, as well as Ottawa and Greater Vancouver.

Price growth remained strongest for one-storey single family homes (+3.1 per cent), followed by two-storey single family homes (+2.6 per cent), townhouse/row units (+1.7 per cent), and apartment units (+1.0 per cent).

"Since changes to mortgage rules made in 2012 took effect, national sales have been running nine to 10 per cent below levels posted in the first half of 2012 but they've been remarkably steady,” said Klump.

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