Canadian house price gains in 2011 modest: CREA

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The evidence continues to point to a cooling Canadian housing market, as the Canadian Real Estate Association released its data for December 2011.

According to CREA, national resale housing activity posted an increase from November to December 2011, but the overall national home price was up just 0.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis, marking the smallest increase since October 2010.

Sales of existing homes rose 1.8 per cent in December from November, bringing annual gains for last year to 2.2 per cent, or 456,749 homes sold. New listings also rose in December, by three per cent.

But prices are cooling. In a measure that is not seasonally adjusted, the real estate group noted that the average price in December, $347,801.

“Momentum for national sales activity and average price remains positive but is slowing, which suggests that the continuation of low interest rates is not causing the Canadian housing market to overheat,” CREA's chief economist, Gregory Klump, said in a statement.

“High-end home sales seem unlikely to spike again in the first quarter like they did at the beginning of 2011, so national average price momentum may wane further over the next few months. With interest rates widely expected to remain low throughout 2012, homeownership will remain affordable, and continue to support home sales activity.”

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