CREA: home sales up 4.5% in December

Home sales ended 2017 with a rise in sales ahead of the mortgage stress test which came in at the start of the New Year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says that there was a 4.5% increase in nationwide home sales in December compared with November, marking their fifth consecutive monthly rise.

Activity increased in almost 60% of local markets with the GTA, Edmonton, Calgary, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Hamilton-Burlington and Winnipeg leading the gains.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 4.1% year-over-year. Annual gains were strongest in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. The GTA saw a decline.

“National home sales in December were likely boosted by seasonal adjustment factors and a potential pull-forward of demand before new mortgage regulations came into effect this year,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It will be interesting to see if monthly sales activity continues to rise despite tighter mortgage regulations that took effect on January 1st.”

New supply of homes in the GTA pushed new listings nationwide up 3.3% but inventory remained subdued at 4.5 months of supply.

CREA’s aggregate home price index was up 9.1 year-over-year in December, the smallest increase since February 2016 and the 8th consecutive slowdown of price increases.

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