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Existing home sales edge up in September surge 18 from year ago

OTTAWA — Canadian home sales posted a small month-over-month increase in September as the national average sale price rose but the number of new listings declined, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.Home sales were up just under 1% from August to September, while overall activity remained on par with the 10-year average in September, CREA said.And while last month’s sales were up 18.2% compared with September 2012, CREA says that was because last year’s figures were unusually weak.Sales improved on a month-over-month basis in just over half of all local markets, with gains in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto offsetting declines in Calgary and Montreal.About 340,980 homes have traded hands across the country so far this year, or 1.8% below levels recorded in the first three quarters of 2012.The national average price for homes sold in September 2013 was $385,906, an increase of 8.8% compared with a year ago.CREA said year-over-year average price gains in recent months reflect the decline in sales activity recorded last year in some of Canada’s larger and more expensive markets, which caused the national average price to drop.If Greater Toronto, Greater Vancouver and Calgary were removed from the national average price calculation, the year-over-year increase would be 4.3%.“Year-over-year increases in the sales over the past couple of months highlights how activity softened across much of the country following the introduction of tighter mortgage rules last summer,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.“While the momentum for sales activity began improving a few months ago, it may be losing steam after having only just climbed back in line with an average of the past 10 years,” he added.There were 1.4% fewer newly listed homes in September compared with August, the association said, adding that while the Canadian housing market has tightened it continues to remain balanced.Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto, London, St. Thomas, Ont., Ottawa and Montreal all saw listing declines.The Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000 realtors working through more than 90 real estate boards and associations. read more

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