Canadian house sales up and down (depending on the comparison)

Canadian sales of existing homes in September rose from August, edging up for a second straight month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said today. The industry group said a total of 33,913 homes changed hands in September, up 3 percent from August to reach its highest level since May. However, compared to a year ago, sales were down 20.1 percent.

The average price of a home sold in Canada in September dipped 0.2 percent from a year ago to C$331,089 from C$331,683.

The number of new listings rose 0.7 percent from the previous month.

“Supply and demand are rebalancing, and that’s keeping prices steady in many markets,” CREA president George Pahud said.

The number of months of inventory represents the period it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity, and measures the balance between housing supply and demand. The seasonally adjusted number of months of inventory stood at 6.6 months at the end of September on a national basis. This is down from 6.9 months in August, and 7.2 months in July.

“Mortgage lending rates eased in the third quarter, which helped support sales activity over the past couple of months,” CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump said.

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