Housing data reveals ‘growing divergence’ between eastern and western Canada

The Montreal real estate market continues to tighten, while sales decline in Vancouver and Calgary. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Resales of Canadian homes fell 0.2 per cent in June from the previous month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Monday in the first decline reported since home sales plunged in February.

The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 0.3 per cent from a year earlier because of gains in the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal, while the group’s Home Price Index was down 0.3 per cent from June last year.

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Canada’s “nearly unchanged national tally,” CREA said, was the result of “an even split between the number of local markets” where sales rose and fell. Gains were seen in the province of Quebec and Southern Ontario, while home sales fell in the Greater Vancouver Area and Calgary, among others.

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While the supply of homes for sales has risen well beyond long-term averages in the Prairie provinces, it remains below its typical long-run level in Ontario and the Maritimes. Newfoundland and Labrador is bucking the trend in eastern Canada, with a higher-than-average inventory of homes on the market.

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“There’s a growing divergence in Canadian housing market trends between eastern and western Canada,” said Gregory Klump, CREA‘s chief economist.

“While sales activity in Canada’s three westernmost provinces appears to have stopped deteriorating, it will be some time before supply and demand there becomes better balanced and the outlook for home prices improves,” he said.

— With a file from Global News reporter Erica Alini

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