Priciest Markets Lift Canada Home Sales to 7th Increase
Home sales rose 0.8 percent in September from the previous month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said in a statement today on its website, with average prices up 1.4 percent during the month. Sales in Vancouver were up 6.7 percent, while Toronto realtors sold 2.4 percent more homes.
Buyers in Toronto and Vancouver are ramping up purchases before mortgage rates rise further, as recent data soothes concern the nation’s housing market was headed for a hard landing. At the same time, about half the 26 regional markets posted falling prices in September, the realtor group said.
“While the momentum for sales activity began improving a few months ago, it may be losing steam,” said Gregory Klump, chief economist at the Ottawa-based realtor group.
From a year earlier, sales rose 18.2 percent, the Ottawa-based group said. Average sales prices were up 8.8 percent from a year earlier.
Monthly sales increases reported by the Canadian real estate group have averaged almost 2 percent since the gauge last declined in February. The gains followed a contraction at at end of 2012 after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened government-insured mortgage rules on speculation that a condo glut might lead to sharp price declines. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the nation’s federal banking regulator, released tougher mortgage-lending standards last year.
The effect of those measures have been dissipating, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver. The average sale price of a home in Toronto was up 2.2 percent in September to C$536,354 ($517,700). Vancouver home prices were up 1.6 percent to C$794,245.
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