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Canadian house prices and home sales hit records in March — but have fallen every month since

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The price of the average Canadian home that sold in June was $679,000, an increase of 25 per cent in the past year. While sales have risen sharply, too, both figures were lower last month than in the month before.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said in a release Thursday that home sales have now fallen for three months in a row after setting an all-time high in March 2021.

Just over 50,000 Canadian homes changed hands during June. The average selling price, $679,000, was down from $688,000 in May, $696,000 in April and $716,000 in March.

On a monthly basis, home sales fell by 12 per cent in April, by seven per cent in May and then by eight per cent in June. But they were still 13 per cent higher than this time last year and in fact were still the strongest June on record — a sign of just how red-hot housing was earlier this year.

“While there is still a lot of activity in many housing markets across Canada, things have noticeably calmed down in the last few months,” CREA chair Cliff Stevenson said. “There remains a shortage of supply in many parts of the country, but at least there isn’t the same level of competition among buyers we were seeing a few months ago.”

Markets in Ontario and British Columbia are among the hottest in the country, with annual increases in both provinces topping 30 per cent. Interestingly, the gains are lower in both Toronto and Vancouver than in the rest of each respective province. The annual increase in Vancouver came in at around 14 per cent, while in Toronto it was 20 per cent.

Some parts of Ontario are currently clocking increases of more than 50 per cent.

Hash Aboulhosn, president of Windsor-based mortgage broker Edison Financial, says demand for housing in the area remains very strong despite the sales slowdown.

“Today’s decrease in home sales continues to show the state of the stressed housing market across Canada. Many homebuyers are having to choose between sitting on the sidelines or engaging in intense bidding wars, which is pushing housing pricing skyward.”

Economist Robert Kavcic with Bank of Montreal agrees that the June numbers still paint a picture of an extremely hot housing market by any historical metric.

“Don’t be fooled — this is still an extremely strong level of demand,” he said. “Home sales have backed off extreme levels seen in recent months, but demand is still historically strong and driving strong price growth. We believe that sales activity will continue to gradually cool in the year ahead, but it’s going to take higher interest rates to soften the market in a meaningful way.”

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