Residential property sales in Canada edged downwards at the end of 2012 as the market was still seeing fewer transactions because of mortgage lending rule changes.
Sales fell 0.5% from November to December but there are still some differences in trends between local housing markets, according to the latest statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Prices have moved little during the last 12 months. Average home prices increased 1.6% compared with December 2011. CREA said that the national average price continues to be influenced by fewer sales in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto compared to the same period a year earlier. Excluding these two markets prices rose 3.3% year on year.
Prices sold through the MLS system, which is regarded as providing a better gauge of home price trends as it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales, increased by 0.3% but when Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto are excluded from the figure the rise was 2.8%.
The MLS house price index rose fastest in Regina, up 10.5% year on year, although the increase was the smallest since March. Calgary saw a 7.4% rise, Greater Montreal was up 3.3% and the Fraser Valley was up 0.5%. In contrast the MLS index fell by 2.3% year on year in Greater Vancouver.
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