Canadian existing home sales rose for the first time in four months in January on gains in Toronto and Vancouver, a realtor group said.
Sales rose 1.3 percent to 35,878 units from December, the Canadian Real Estate Association said in a statement from Ottawa today. Toronto sales gained 5.6 percent to 7,011 units and in Vancouver they increased 4.7 percent to 1,998 homes.
The economy is at risk from a long period of rising consumer debt and low interest rates even with recent signs housing has moderated, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Timothy Lane said in a Feb. 11 speech. The central bank kept its key rate at 1 percent last month, where it’s been since September 2010, and said the case for an increase is “less imminent” as it forecast housing would weigh on economic growth through 2014.
Sales fell 5.2 percent in January from a year earlier and the average price rose 2 percent to C$354,754 ($352,358), according to the report.