06/19/2013 05:22 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:49 EDT

Alberta Home Sales Expected To Rise: CREA


Alberta is one of only two provinces that will see a rise in home sales this year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA.)

The industry group representing Canadian realtors reported Alberta and Prince Edward Island will see an increase in the number of home sales, while other provinces will continue to see declines in 2013 compared to last year.

Overall, CREA forecasts there will be more sales in 2014 than in 2012 or 2013, a possible signal the Canadian market is set for a rebound.

Douglas Porter, chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the figures show the doom and gloom that has been anticipated for the Canadian housing sector looks like it's been delayed — at least for the near future.

"Overall, this is relatively encouraging news," he said. "If anything, the surprise has been how healthy the housing market has been."

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The findings come days after a StatsCan reported Calgary is leading the country in rising home prices.

The agency says Calgary was the top contributor to the national advance for the third consecutive month, as prices for new homes rose 0.5 per cent in April.

"Builders reported that higher material and labour costs as well as market conditions were the main reasons for higher prices," they said.

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Porter said there is still some strength in the Canadian economy, which has been supported by positive employment news and more encouraging reports in general.

"I wouldn't say the economy is booming by any stretch of the imagination but I think the main point is that it's holding up better than many had expected as recently as a couple of months ago," he added.

With files from The Canadian Press