OTTAWA – Home sales in the country hit a record high last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday.
The association said home sales over its Multiple Listings Service system increased by 1.1 per cent in March to top the previous monthly record set in April 2016. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales totalled 46,353, up from 45,856 in February.
Sales in March were up on a month-over-month basis in more than half of the local markets measured, led by Greater Vancouver which gained 4.1 per cent and the nearby Fraser Valley region in B.C. where sales rose by 9.1 per cent.
The Ontario cities of London and St. Thomas posted a monthly gain of 12.6 per cent and Montreal increased 2.9 per cent.
Compared with a year ago, non-seasonally adjusted sales were up 6.6 per cent as gains in the Greater Toronto Area led the way with a 17.0 per cent increase compared with March 2016.
The increase in Toronto offset a drop in the Greater Vancouver region, where sales fell 31.5 per cent compared with a year ago.
“The current strength in national home sales mainly speaks to what’s going on in and around Toronto,” CREA president Andrew Peck said in a statement.
“Elsewhere, sales either remain slow or well below previous heights.”
The actual national average price for homes sold in March this year was $548,517, up 8.2 per cent from a year ago. Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the average price was $389,726.
The data was released hours before Toronto Mayor John Tory was to meet with the federal and provincial finance ministers to discuss the city’s soaring home prices, which have prompted some degree of alarm among policy-makers and experts.