December 17, 2018 11:23 am

Canadian home sales slide for a 3rd month in a row: CREA

WATCH: What's in store for the housing market in 2019? Erica Alini looks at what buyers and sellers should keep in mind.

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Home sales across the country fell for a third month in a row in November, as two of what had been the hottest markets, the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver Area, reported lower activity.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says Canadian home sales through its multiple listing service system dropped by 12.6 per cent last month compared to the same period a year ago. Sales were down in three-quarters of all local markets including the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Ont., region, B.C.’s Lower Mainland and Calgary.

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“Rising interest rates are restraining sales, particularly in affordability-challenged markets like Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Hamilton,” TD economist Rishi Sondhi wrote in a note to clients shortly after the release.

READ MORE: Will it crash? Here’s what to expect from the Canadian housing market in 2019

On a month-to-month basis, sales fell by 2.3 per cent compared with October, as the number of transactions fell in more than half of all local markets.

CREA says the number of new listings also saw a decline, falling 3.3 per cent in November. The drop came as the average price for a home sold last month fell to $488,000, down 2.9 per cent compared with the same month a year ago.

Excluding the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver area, the average price of a sold home was just under $378,000.

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However, the average home price through CREA’s MLS index, which adjusts for different home types, was up 2 per cent from a year-ago, in line with the pace recorded since July.

The data wasn’t “all bad news,” Sondhi wrote. “Most markets across the country remain balanced, while price growth is contained.”

Still, the November statistics add to a sobering picture for Canada’s housing market. CREA is projecting that home sales in Canada will register a double-digit decline in 2018 and fall to their lowest level seen in five years.

— With files from Erica Alini, Global News

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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