Canadian property market stable and steady

Residential property sales in Canada are steady with the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) showing that they were 0.1% higher in March than the previous month.

With national sales in each of the first three months of 2011 running close to their five or ten year monthly averages, seasonally adjusted national sales activity in the first quarter of 2011 was up 4.5% from levels recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, and reached the highest quarterly level in a year.

Most of the quarterly increase in seasonally adjusted national sales activity was due to demand in Vancouver and Toronto. Recent changes to mortgage regulations may have caused a number of sales in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets to be brought forward into the first quarter that would have otherwise occurred later in the year, CREA said.

Sellers looking to trade up before changes to mortgage regulations took effect made their move early, resulting in a significant rise in newly listed homes in January and February of this year. With changes to mortgage regulations looming in March, seasonally adjusted new residential listings for the month dropped 5% month on month.