Canadian housing market Homes sales across the country rose by 11.1 per cent over last year, according to recent statistics released today from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). This increase comes after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage lending rules last year.

“Sales activity dropped sharply around this time last year in the wake of tightened mortgage rules and has improved since then, so a sizeable year-over-year increase this August was expected,” Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist said to the CREA.

There’s also been a steady month-over-month increase, as national home sales rose by 2.8 per cent from July to August. Newly listed homes also saw a slight increase, up 1.8 per cent this month. Home sales totalled 40,350 in August compared to 36,316 last year.

However, the 2013 sales number is still expected to falter compared to last year’s total. The CREA forecasts a total of 449,900 home sales this year versus 454,573 in 2012. From here, the sales figure is expected to rise, predicting a 465,600 total in 2014.

The national average price for home sales hit $378,369 in August, an 8.1 per cent increase from last year. The increase is thanks in part to the strong showing that both the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver regions made in August.

In Vancouver, home sales increased by 53 per cent compared to the same time last year, while Toronto experienced a 21 per cent boost. If both cities were removed from the equation, the increase would almost be cut in half to 4.8 per cent.

“The recent hike in fixed mortgage rates is one example of an influence that affects all markets, but it’s just one of many things that shape housing market trends, ” said CREA President Laura Leyser.

Here are some other interesting statistics that the CREA reported:

  • The national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 54.6 per cent compared to 54.1 per cent in July

  • One-storey and two-storey single family homes recorded a 3.45 per cent and 3.61 per cent price gain over the year, respectively.

  • In August, townhomes and apartment units saw more subtle gains of 1.85 per cent and 1.25 per cent respectively.

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