The Canadian housing market has sprinted into a new year at top speed. Existing home sales reached the highest level ever for a December in 2009.
As per the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA),
2009 Sales residential sales activity started with a whimper and finished with a bang! Looking forward into 2010; low interest rates will likely keep national sales activity near current levels in the short term. A surge in housing demand in Ontario and British Columbia will also contribute to sales numbers from homebuyers motivated to beat the introduction of the HST.
December was a record for sales in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador. Consequently sales for the entire country set a record for the fourth quarter of 2009, with a seasonally adjusted 138,000 homes changing hands. This was an increase of 2.6% from the first quarter of 2007, which was the previous quarterly record high.
For the whole year, 2009 was down 10.7% from the annual high attained in 2007. The December year over year national average home price was up 19% at $337,000. The Canadian Real Estate Association reported that almost all local markets saw new records set for average prices in 2009, except Alberta.