Sunday, April 09, 2006

Canadian Housing Market - Best first quarter ever

TORONTO, April 5 /CNW/ - Ten per cent more resale home transactions took
place during the month of March than during the same month a year ago, Toronto
Real Estate Board President John Meehan announced today. The March total of
8,707 sales was the second-highest ever, bringing the total for the first
quarter of 2006 to 19,831 sales, a record first quarter result.

"There is a lot to be positive about in this market," Mr. Meehan said.
"The year has started very strongly and it shows no signs of slowing as the
peak spring market approaches."

According to Jason Mercer, Senior Market Analyst for the Canada Mortgage
and Housing Corporation, strong economic fundamentals are helping to maintain
consumer confidence.

"Consumers remain upbeat about home ownership," he said. "Tight labour
market conditions with low unemployment and rising real wages, along with very
low borrowing costs have kept potential buyers confident in their ability to
purchase and pay for a home."

A number of areas across the city of Toronto showed high March sales
totals in comparison to totals recorded in March 2005:

Condominium sales represented the majority of sales as the Scarborough
Centre / Woburn area saw 57 per cent more overall transactions compared to
last March.

Condominium sales continued to fuel the Downtown / Harbourfront area as
it experienced an overall increase in sales of 34 per cent compared to March
of last year.

Further west, the Junction / High Park area of Toronto experienced
63 per cent more overall transactions compared to the same timeframe a year
ago.

"The housing market is in good shape overall," Mr. Meehan added. "There
are strong fundamentals in place and we are seeing that translate into steady
performances month after month. It is still a great time to be in the market."

Toronto REALTORS are passionate about their work. They adhere to a strict
code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Its
22,765 listings resulted in March's 8,707 sales. Serving over 23,000 Members
in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada's largest
real estate board.

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