Canada Home Sales Rise 6th Month as Smaller Markets Gain

Canadian existing home sales rose for a sixth month in July, increasing to the highest in more than four years, as gains in recently lagging markets offset losses in Toronto and Vancouver.

Sales rose 0.8 percent to 41,476 units in July, the Canadian Real Estate Association said today in a statement from Ottawa. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary reported declining sales, countering a 2.5 percent increase elsewhere.

“July sales picked up in markets that struggled to gain traction in the spring, while activity eased slightly in some of Canada’s largest urban markets,” Beth Crosbie, CREA president, said in the statement.

Housing market data from building permits to new construction show renewed momentum as the lowest mortgage rates in decades lure buyers. The gains defy speculation housing would slow after warnings from policy makers about the risks of overbuilding and record household debt.

“Low mortgage interest rates continue to bolster home sales,” Gregory Klump, the real estate agency’s chief economist, said in the statement.

Sales fell 0.1 percent in Toronto, 7.8 percent in Vancouver and 4.2 percent in Calgary as the three of the country’s hottest housing markets cooled last month.

Montreal sales have accelerated after lagging behind earlier this year. Sales in Canada’s second-largest city increased 2.0 percent in July.

The C$404,490 ($371,740) average price of a home sold in July was little changed from June and up 5.0 percent from a year earlier, the agency said.

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