Vancouver Leads Third Straight Fall in Canada Home Sales

Canadian existing home sales declined for the third straight month in July, led by a Vancouver market that is showing signs of slowing down amid worries about affordability.

The number of transactions nationwide declined 1.3 percent from the previous month to 44,854 in July, with prices down 0.6 percent nationwide, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday from Ottawa. Vancouver sales fell 6.7 percent, with the nearby Fraser Valley region down by 14 percent.

The data suggest Vancouver’s home market, the nation’s most expensive, may have been slowing even before the provincial government set a foreign buyers’ tax for the city, which took effect earlier this month. The realtor group cited lack of affordability for falling sales in a Vancouver market where prices are up 16 percent from year ago.

Today’s report suggests that Vancouver “sales are being reined in by a lack of inventory and a further deterioration in affordability,” Gregory Klump, the group’s chief economist, said in the report. “It will take some time before the effect of the new tax on sales and prices can be observed.”

Nationally, the average price fell 0.6 percent in July. From a year earlier, the average sales price -- at C$480,743 ($371,833) in July -- was up 9.9 percent.

From a year earlier, transactions fell 2.9 percent.

Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, saw resales rise by

0.5 percent on the month, and Montreal posted a 3.6 percent increase. The average sales price in Canada’s biggest city was up 0.1 percent in July and 16.5 percent from a year ago.

The average price of a home sold in Vancouver was up 0.2 percent in July, with gains of 16.3 percent from a year ago.

(Updates with monthly data throughout.)

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