OTTAWA — Resale home sales maintained a healthy pace in the capital in July, driven by demand for lower-priced single family homes.
The Ottawa Real Estate Board said 1,366 homes were sold through its Multiple Listings Service last month, an increase of 3.4 per cent from July 2011 and on par with the five-year average for July sales of 1,360.
Average prices, however, continued to slip, falling to $337,518 for all housing types and $265,903 for condominiums. The overall average price stood at $364,077 as recently as April and the condo average at $278,447 in June.
Board past president Joanne Tibbles suggested the decline “may be because lower priced properties in certain areas of the city continue to sell quickly, while higher priced or unique properties are taking somewhat longer to sell.”
Still, she said, “the Ottawa market generally remains stable.”
In contrast to the capital’s calm market, July sales in Vancouver, once Canada’s hottest real estate market, hit their lowest total since 2000.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported Thursday 2,098 properties sold in the month, down 18.4 per cent from 2,571 in July 2011 and down 11.2 per cent from June’s mark of 2,362, which was also the lowest total for that month since 2000.
Despite the sharp drop in the number of homes sold, the board says the MLS home price index composite benchmark price was $616,000, up 0.6 per cent from a year ago, but down 0.7 per cent from June.
“People appear to be cautious about making significant financial decisions right now,” board president Eugen Klein said in a statement.
In Toronto, another market that has seen big jumps in sales and prices, July sales slipped by 1.5 per cent as demand for condominiums slowed. The Toronto Real Estate Board said there were 7,570 homes sold last month compared with 7,683 a year ago.
Board president Ann Hannah says new mortgage lending guidelines and the additional cost of the Toronto land transfer tax prompted some to put their buying decision on hold.
The average Toronto selling price in July was $476,947, up four per cent from a year ago.
With files from The Canadian Press
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