National homes sales edged slightly higher in September compared to August according to the agency which represents more than 115,000 realtors in Canada.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says sales were up 0.8% from August, although that’s still 5.6% below the record set in April.
Compared with a year ago, the cost of a home is up 9.5 per cent in September to $474,590.
Recent trends have seen sales climb in the GTA, and fall further in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
The Association says recent changes to mortgage lending rules by Ottawa has injected uncertainty into the real estate market. Forthcoming measures, including an expansion of a stress test for borrowers, could deter first-time homebuyers.
The stress test for those who need mortgage default insurance will cause them to rethink how much home they can afford to buy.
Home sales in B.C., especially Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, had retreated sharply for five months straight before the new foreign buyers’ tax in Metro Vancouver was announced in August.
Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto regions, the average price for a home was $358,884.
“The Finance Minister’s recent changes to regulations affecting mortgage lending has added to housing market uncertainty among buyers and sellers,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “For first-time home buyers, the stress test for those who need mortgage default insurance will cause them to rethink how much home they can afford to buy.”
Townhouse/row unit and two-storey single family homes post the biggest year over year increases in September 2016 at 16.4 percent and 16.3 percent respectively, while one-storey single family homes (14.0 percent) and apartment units (11.1 percent) were not far behind.