Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TREB: Home sales jingling along

The first week of December was a good week, economically speaking, for the Greater Toronto Area and Canada more broadly. We had two waves of positive financial news. First, Statistics Canada announced the Canadian economy grew in the third quarter -the first quarter of growth since the third quarter of 2008.

This was followed by encouraging employment numbers. In Canada, a whopping 79,000 jobs were created in November and the unemployment rate dropped slightly. In the Toronto area, we experienced the fourth straight month of job creation. This was the backdrop for another strong report from the Toronto Real Estate Board. November's existing home sales in the Toronto area were up strongly on an annual basis to 7,446 (up 105% from a depressed November 2008, but within 2% of the total in November 2007), and the average home price climbed 14% to $418,460.

Jason Mercer, TREB's senior manager of market analysis, points to the strong link between the housing market and renewed growth in the economy: "Economic recovery to date has been consumer driven, with housing playing a key role. The fact that the GTA housing market has remained affordable over the past decade, coupled with record low mortgage rates, meant that as consumer confidence recovered, home ownership demand rebounded very quickly. These transactions resulted in spending that benefited other sectors of the economy, including such financial and professional services as mortgage brokers and lawyers, renovation and repair contractors, moving and storage companies and home furnishings retailers to name a few."

Tom Lebour, TREB, National Post
Published: Friday, December 11, 2009
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