National MLS® sales hit record high: return to normal sales pace predicted

Canada’s MLS® residential home sales soared to a record high of 456,503 closed transactions in 2004, a 4.8 per cent gain over 2003, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. 

It was the fourth consecutive year in which national sales surpassed all previous annual records.

Annual sales records were set in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

In Winnipeg, MLS® sales were up 6.3 per cent to 11,447 units, according to the Winnipeg Real Estate Board.

New listings reached their highest level on record on an annual basis, CREA reported. At 716,201 units, new listings in 2004 surpassed their previous record set in 1990 by 1.1 per cent.

The national MLS® average price set a record in 2004, up 9.7 per cent from 2003 to $244,304. This was the fifth consecutive year in which the national average price set an annual record.

Locally, the average selling price of a detached home in 2004 was $128,000, an 11 per cent increase over 2003.

For December, seasonally-adjusted existing-home sales via Canada’s Multiple Listing Service® slowed 1.3 per cent from the previous month, but set monthly records in New Brunswick and Alberta.

The national MLS® average residential price also set a monthly record in December, reaching $234,971. The year-over-year increase of 11.1 percent in average price in December was its largest since May 2004.

An increase in new listings and a return to a more normal pace of sales activity are expected to cause Canada’s resale housing market to become more balanced in 2005, which will keep the size of average price increases between three per cent and five per cent, the association reported.