NEWS
06/15/2015 09:40 EDT | Updated 06/15/2016 01:12 EDT

Homes sales climb higher in May; Greater Toronto Area leads the increase

TORONTO - Home sales climbed higher in May from the previous month, with the Toronto area leading the charge, as some home buyers looked to preempt an increase in mortgage insurance premiums.The Canadian Real Estate Association says sales last month through its MLS system were up 3.1 per cent from April, marking the fourth consecutive month-over-month increase.CREA chief economist Gregory Klump says a rebound in sales in Calgary and Edmonton suggests uncertainty stemming from low oil prices could be easing.The association also revised its outlook for the full year upwards to reflect better-than-expected sales in British Columbia.CREA now anticipates that national home sales will climb to 487,200 units this year, 1.3 per cent higher than last year.Compared with a year ago, sales across the country in May were up 2.7 per cent, led by Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.CREA president Pauline Aunger says news that CMHC will be increasing mortgage default insurance premiums for home buyers with less than a 10 per cent down payment effective June 1 could have impacted home sales."Some buyers may have jumped off the fence and purchased in May to beat the increase," Aunger said in a statement.— Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter