Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Real Estate Association Says September Home Sales Down from August

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Real Estate Association Says September Home Sales Down from August

Article excerpt

September home sales down from August

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OTTAWA - Canadian home sales in September were down from August as some of the country's hottest real estate markets saw sales cool, but prices continued to show strength.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday that home sales in September through its Multiple Listing Service were down 2.1 per cent compared with August.

The drop came as the number of sales fell in more than half of the local markets tracked in September, led by declines in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

Sales in Vancouver were down 3.8 per cent for the month, while Toronto slipped 3.5 per cent. Calgary dropped 7.5 per cent.

Compared with a year ago, September sales for the country were up 0.7 per cent.

BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri said the Canadian housing market is cooling somewhat. However, prices were "frothy" in the Vancouver and Toronto markets.

The national average price for a home sold in September was $433,649, up 6.1 per cent from the same month a year ago. But, excluding the Vancouver and Toronto markets, the average was $334,705, up 2.9 per cent from September last year.

"The story for the Greater Vancouver area and Greater Toronto area is that continued strong demand for a limited supply of detached properties is sending prices through the roof as international migrants, young millennials and an apparent influx of foreign wealth flock to these two areas," Guatieri said.

"The latter could get a significant boost if China further eases foreign investment restrictions on individuals, as proposed later this year in the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor program."

The Teranet-National Bank composite house price index for September was up 0.6 per cent from August, the seventh consecutive month it has sat at an all-time high.

Prices were up for the month in six of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, including Halifax, Vancouver, Hamilton, Victoria, Calgary and Toronto. …

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