Home sales in Canada continued their month-by-month drop in August, says the Canadian Real Estate Association, but sales were still up from this time last year.
According to the CREA, Canadian home sales fell 3.1% from July to August, the largest monthly decline since December 2014, with the number of newly listed homes down 2.7%.
The CREA says month-to-month home sales figures dropped in close to 60% of all Canadian markets in August, led by a steep decline in Greater Vancouver.
And although the verdict isn’t yet back on whether the new foreign buyers’ tax in Metro Vancouver has had any effect on the red hot housing market, the CREA is hedging its bets.
“The sudden introduction of the new property transfer tax on homes purchased by foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver has created a cloud of uncertainty among home buyers and sellers,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson.
“The surprise announcement of the new tax caused sales to brake hard,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist.
Home sales may be dropping monthly, but the Canadian real estate market is still not cooling off completely it seems.
Compared with August last year, home sales in Canada were still up 10.2% and the national average price for homes sold in August 2016 was up 5.4% to $456,722.
Sales were up in about three-quarters of all Canadian markets, led by Greater Toronto, says the CREA. Greater Montreal posted a 2.5% increase in year on year home sales.
By contrast, Greater Vancouver posted the largest year-over-year sales decline, and Calgary was down 4.1%, still down due to the oil slump.
Despite all that, Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are still dragging the average home price up. If they’re excluded, the average price is reduced by about $100,000 to $357,033.