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Home sales in Canada dropped in November

Dec. 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

OTTAWA, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Home sales in Canada dropped 1.7 percent from October to November, but the market overall remains steady, The Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday.

While sales dropped month-to-month and were off 11.9 percent from November 2011 using figures that do not account for seasonal variations, sales rose from October in two out of five local markets, the association said.

Sales were up from October in Vancouver Island, Victoria, Chilliwack, Kitchener-Waterloo, Greater Toronto, Greater Montreal and Greater Vancouver, the trade group said.

On a national average, however, the sales prices dropped 0.8 percent since November 2011 and the inventory of homes on the market rose from a 6.5-month supply at the current rate of sales at the end of October to a 6.6-month supply at the end of November.

"National sales activity lacks the momentum it had a year ago," said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump, who pointed to new mortgage regulations as the factor behind the cooler housing market.

"Interest rates have remained low and the economic backdrop has remained supportive for housing activity, so that should leave little doubt that recent changes to mortgage regulations are responsible for having cooled activity," Klump said.

"National sales activity has remained fairly steady at lower levels since mortgage rules were changed earlier this year, but that stability masks some real differences in trends among local housing markets," said CREA President Wayne Moen.

The association said the national average price for homes sold in November 2012 was $356,687, off 0.8 percent from November 2011.

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