home-sale-sign Photo: Ian Muttoo/Flickr

2015 was the second-best year on record for home sales in Canada, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The number of homes changing hands nationwide last year increased 5.5 per cent over 2014 on a seasonally adjusted basis, pushing activity to a level that was only 3 per cent shy of 2007, the best ever year for home sales in Canada.

In total, 506,334 residential transactions were recorded last year, and 479,986 homes were sold in 2014. Home sales equalled 521,804 through 2007.

However, a lull in home sales across some Alberta and Ontario housing markets towards the end of 2015 dragged down the level of Canadian residential property transactions in December.

“Monthly sales declines in Calgary, Edmonton, the York Region of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Hamilton-Burlington offset monthly activity gains recorded elsewhere,” CREA said today.

Nationwide, residential real estate transactions inched downwards by 0.6 per cent in the final month of 2015, compared to November.

National inventory remained tight, with the country’s unsold housing stock sitting at a level high enough to feed December’s rate of demand for 5.4 months, close to a six-year low.

The average unadjusted sale price for a Canadian home reached $454,342 in December, up 12 per cent from a year before.

Take the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area out of the equation, and the national price average falls to $336,994, or a 5.4 year-over-year increase.

“The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets,” said CREA.

In Greater Vancouver, the average price was $760,900 as of last month, 18.87 per cent higher than it was by the end of 2014, and 1.12 per cent up from November.

Meanwhile, the average price of a GTA home was $573,500, a 10.01 per cent jump up from December 2014 and 0.21 per cent above November’s average.

“The [national] gain reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia versus flat or declining prices elsewhere in Canada.”

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