That equates to 460,900 homes changing hands in 2008 compared with a record 520,747 the year before. In 2009, the drop is expected to continue at a more moderate pace, leading to CREA’s projected 442,500 in unit sales.
Sales volumes are seen cooling the most in Alberta this year, at a drop of 18.9 per cent, followed by British Columbia and New Brunswick, with projected drops of 14.4 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively.
The news came as Statistics Canada reported an unexpected 4.5-per-cent month-over-month drop in building permits in March, led by weakness in Alberta. Residential and non-residential permits fell there, giving it the largest provincial drop at 32.9 per cent.