According to statistics released last week by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose by 1.3 per cent from July to August. Ontario sales posted a 14.3-per-cent month-over-month increase in the same time frame, despite the dampening presence of the foreign home buyers’ tax and the Ontario Fair Housing Plan.
“Experience shows that home buyers watch mortgage rates carefully and that recent interest rate increases will prompt some to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to the sidelines,” CREA president Andrew Peck said.
“Time will tell whether the monthly rise in August sales activity marks the beginning of a rebound, particularly in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region and other higher-priced urban centres,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump added. “The picture will become clearer once mortgages that were pre-approved prior to recent interest rate hikes expire.”
Meanwhile, the number of new listings nationwide fell by 3.9 per cent in August, marking a third straight monthly decline.
“The national result largely reflects a reduction in newly listed homes in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, London-St. Thomas and Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as the Fraser Valley,” CREA reported.
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The existing housing policy regime in Ontario has not stopped sales activity from intensifying in Toronto, a development that has in turn contributed to sales volume growth on a national basis last month.