(Adds economist comment, details on inventory, actual prices)
By Andrea Hopkins
TORONTO, July 15 Sales of existing homes in
Canada rose in June from May, notching the fifth straight
monthly increase after a slow winter and taking sales to their
highest level since March 2010, the Canadian Real Estate
Association said on Tuesday.
The industry group for Canadian real estate agents said
sales activity was up 0.8 percent last month after May's robust
6.1 percent rise, suggesting the sharp bounceback after a harsh
winter may be losing steam.
Canada's housing market has roared back to life after an
especially brutal winter hurt home building, sales and prices,
but economists widely expect the market to slow again late in
2014 or in 2015 when interest rates begin to rise.
"With listings effectively unchanged and national sales much
more moderate in June, the housing market may be losing some
momentum as we head into the summer months," Mazen Issa, senior
Canada macro strategist at TD Securities, said in a research
"On an annual basis, we anticipate that sales will be nearly
4 percent higher relative to their 2013 level but we think that
there is potential for a moderate unwind through 2015."
Actual sales for June, not seasonally adjusted, were up a
whopping 11.2 percent from June 2013.
The real estate association's home price index rose 5.4
percent from June 2013, a slight acceleration from May's 5.0
"In markets with tight supply and strong demand, the
strength of sales in recent months reflects how many properties
were snapped up once they finally hit the market (after the
harsh winter)," association Chief Economist Gregory Klump said
in the report.
"Because the impact of deferred listings and sales has
likely run its course, activity over the second half of the year
may not be able to maintain the kind of pace we've seen over the
past couple of months."
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 percent in
June, up slightly from 53.2 percent in May, as new listings
There were six months of inventory at the end of June 2014,
unchanged from May but half a month below where it stood at the
beginning of 2014, CREA said.
The national average price for homes sold in June, not
seasonally adjusted, was C$413,215 ($385,300), up 6.9 percent
from the same month last year.
($1 = 1.07 Canadian Dollars)
(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and