Canadian home sales surge in December, but market troubles imminent

by Ephraim Vecina18 Jan 2017
Sales of homes across Canada rallied by 2.2 per cent month-over-month in December after November transactions suffered some weakness in the wake of stricter mortgage rules, according to a new report from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Home prices also went up by 3.5 per cent year-over-year in the same month, up to $470,661.
However, CREA noted that while significant, this surge recovered only less than half of the November declines in the national market. Sales in that month experienced their largest monthly decline in over 4 years, amid increased consumer hesitation right after significant changes to federal mortgage regulations took effect.
The price increases were also the smallest year-over-year gains in at least 2 years, Global News reported.
Sellers would also have to hold on to their offerings a bit longer than usual, as resale activity will be more sluggish this year compared to the last, CREA warned.
“Home sales are unlikely to benefit the Canadian economy as much in 2017 as they did in 2016,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump wrote in the report.
“New regulations mean that in order to qualify for a mortgage, home buyers will either have to save longer for a bigger down payment or purchase a lower priced home. In urban centers where the latter are in short supply, that’s likely to translate into fewer sales.”

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Vancouver home sales downturn expected to impact prices - report
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