CALGARY — The rate of year-over-year growth in MLS sales in Alberta doubled the Canadian average in January, according to data released Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.
At the same time economists warned that the Canadian housing market is showing signs of cooling.
CREA said there were 3,109 transactions in the province, up 8.2 per cent from January 2011. In Canada, there were 24,821 MLS sales, representing a 4.0 per cent hike from a year ago.
But the average sale price in Alberta dipped by 1.7 per cent to $342,572 while for Canada it rose by 1.2 per cent to $348,178.
In Alberta, new listings during the month were up by 0.2 per cent to 8,024. In Canada, they rose by 4.4 per cent to 67,424.
Sales as a percentage of new listings rose to 51.0 per cent in Alberta, up 5.9 per cent from last year while in Canada it rose by 1.2 per cent to 53.2 per cent.
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the Canadian housing market on the whole is “showing further distinct signs of a welcome moderation as 2012 unfolds, with even some of the previously hottest cities simmering down.”
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, sales dropped 4.5 per cent in the country from the previous month. They were off 3.1 per cent in Alberta and 3.9 per cent in Calgary.
“On a regional basis, the biggest story is still Vancouver, although now it’s because activity in the city is coming back down the mountain. The 13.4 per cent year-over-year drop in sales in Vancouver is the largest in the country, and it is one of the few major centres where prices are down from last January. Calgary is also in that boat,” he said.
In Calgary, the average sale price fell by 3.1 per cent to $382,468 while sales were up by 0.5 per cent to 1,308.
New listings in Calgary decreased by 6.7 per cent to 3,328 and sales as a percentage of new listings was up 6.5 per cent to 51.6 per cent.
Jacques Marcil, senior economist with TD Economics, said the monthly decline in sales at the national level was the first one in five months and the largest since July 2010.
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