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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prices Rise, Sales Fall in April

CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) just realeased the following press release. Existing home sales fell in April in Canada. There is no information specific to Alberta in the press release, although previous releases from the Edmonton Real Estate Board showed increases in both volume and price. As interest rates and prices continue to rise there is bound to be a slowing in the number of sales. This could be a welcome breather for the buyers in Edmonton who've been facing multiple offers and sale prices over list price everywhere they turn. From where we're sitting, we don't see any slowing in the Edmonton market, yet.

Canada's April Existing-Home Sales Fall 3.2%; Prices Rise

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian existing-home sales fell 3.2 percent last month, led by Toronto and Vancouver, as prices and borrowing costs rose.

Sales in 25 major markets fell to a seasonally adjusted 27,746 homes in April, the Ottawa-based Canadian Real Estate Association said in a statement today. Sales fell 5.4 percent to 8,631 units in Toronto, the country's largest city, and 18 percent to 3,434 homes in Vancouver, the third-largest.

The average resale price rose 12 percent in April from a year earlier to a record C$297,609 ($268,000), the association said. Prices advanced 10 percent or more each month this year. Borrowing costs also are increasing, with the rate on a five- year conventional mortgage rising to an average 6.6 percent in April from 6.3 percent at the end of 2005.

``Resale housing demand is still very strong and the market remains tight, and this is reflected in rising prices,'' Gregory Klump, the real estate association's chief economist, said in the statement.

Year-to-date sales increased 6.5 percent to an unprecedented 114,321 and sales for all of 2006 will probably reach a sixth straight record, the association said.

Existing home sales, new home construction and new home prices all reached record highs in the first quarter, spurred in part by a 31-year-low jobless rate.

Fewer people put their homes on the market in April, with new listings falling 0.9 percent to 45,654 units.

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