According to CREA, sales activity rose 1.8 per cent from November to December while annual activity totaled 456,749 sales for the year, up 2.2 per cent from 2010.
CREA also noted that the simultaneous increase in sales and new listings kept the national resale housing in balanced territory while the national average home price was up only 0.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis. This is the smallest increase since October 2010.
“The momentum in sales activity provides clear evidence that low interest rates continue to draw homebuyers to the housing market,” said Gary Morse, CREA President, in a statement.
“While buyers have become increasingly cautious, the hand off for sales activity going into the New Year suggests that Canada’s housing market will continue to benefit from low interest rates in 2012, and continue making a significant contribution to Canadian economic activity,” he continued.
“Momentum for national sales activity and average price remains positive but is slowing, which suggests that the continuation of low interest rates is not causing the Canadian housing market to overheat,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist.
That’s a pretty contentious statement, as many economists and experts have argued that the low interest rates are indeed causing the Canadian housing market to get a bit ahead of itself and are predicting several degrees of decline once rates are raised — ranging from a modest correction to doom and gloom for Canadian homeowners.