Photo: Robert Jack 啸风 Will/Flickr

Canadian home sales volume in August reached the third highest level for that month on record, according to data released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Sales were up 0.3 per cent in August over July, which was enough to place it just behind the same month in 2005 and 2007 in terms of highest sales volume for that month.

The slight increase is part of a longer-running national trend, CREA noted.

“August marked the fourth month in a row for strong and stable national sales activity,” said Pauline Aunger, CREA’s president, in a statement.

Year-over-year, August’s sales were up 4 per cent over the same month last year. They also surpassed the 10-year average for sales in August by 6.6 per cent.

To track home sales, CREA uses data from MLS systems across the country.

Broken down locally, the sales increases were seen in a majority of Canadian housing markets. About 60 per cent of all local markets saw more activity this August than they did during the same time the year before.

British Columbia’s Lower Mainland region and Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area saw the biggest increases, according to CREA.

Despite nearly hitting record sales levels last year, for yet another month in 2015 Calgary’s housing market experienced the largest year-over-year declines this August.

On average, the cost of buying a Canadian home was up year-over-year.

The average price for a Canadian home sold in August was up 8.7 per cent year-over-year to $433,367. This increase is largely thanks to gains in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto.

To demonstrate the impact these markets have on national numbers, CREA points out that if they aren’t included in calculations, the average price falls to $338,755, marking a reduced 4.2 per cent increase year-over-year.

Meanwhile, the MLS Home Price Index was up 6.43 per cent in August over the same month last year. This index “provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using average because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way the average price is,” according to CREA.

In August, the index for British Columbia’s regions of Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland were up 11.96 per cent and 10.62 per cent respectively over 12 months, while Greater Toronto’s rose 9.99 per cent.

Activity and pricing in the two markets is behind CREA’s upgraded housing resale forecast, also released today, as well.

“Prices continue to rise in Ontario and British Columbia, where listings are either in short supply or heading in that direction,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, in a statement.

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