Sizzling sales in September

With more buyers snapping up properties to capitalize on historically low interest rates and wanting to lock in mortgages, home sales increased again in September.

Year-on-year, sales of existing homes across Canada increased by 18.2 per cent. National home sales edged up by 0.8 per cent from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the monthly statistics from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

“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.

The biggest monthly gains were in the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver markets, offsetting declines in Calgary and Montreal.

The average price of homes sold nationally in September was $385,906, up 8.8 per cent from 2012. The association says year-on-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.”

The number of newly listed homes declined by 1.4 per cent on a month-over-month basis, with marked declines in such markets as Ottawa, London and Fraser Valley.

“Sales activity across much of the country has improved in recent months following a slow start to the year and new listings in some areas have not kept pace,” said CREA President Laura Leyser. Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, about three of every five local markets were in balanced market territory in September.

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