The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of home sales edged higher in September compared with August, ending a streak of month-over-month decreases.
Sales through the association's Multiple Listing Service were up 0.8 per cent nationally last month compared with August.
Sales were up in the Toronto region were up, while they continued to fall in and around British Columbia's Lower Mainland region, which includes Vancouver.
“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.”
CREA has concerns that first-time buyers will be priced out of certain markets.
“First-time home buyers, particularly in housing markets with a lack of affordable inventory of single family homes, may be priced out of the market by the new regulations that take effect on October 17th,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “First-time home buyers support a cascade of other homes changing hands, making them the linchpin of the housing market. The federal government will no doubt want to monitor the effect of new regulations on the many varied housing markets across Canada and on the economy, particularly given the uncertain outlook for other private sector engines of economic growth.”
Compared with a year ago, the number of home sales was up 4.2 per cent from September 2015.
The national average price for a home sold in September was up 9.5 per cent compared with a year ago at $474,590.
Excluding the expensive Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto regions, the average price was $358,884 last month.
With files from Canadian Press