Home sales down in December to cap weakest annual sales since 2012: CREA

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OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of home sales in December was down for a fourth month in a row, capping the weakest annual sales since 2012.

On an month-over-month basis, home sales fell 2.5 per cent in November, reaching 36,759 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Sales were down in about 60 per cent of all local markets in December, led by Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Ottawa, London and St. Thomas, and Halifax-Dartmouth.

Compared with December 2017, home sales in the final month of 2018 were down 19 per cent. CREA attributed the drop to a rush of buyers at the end of 2017 ahead of tighter mortgage rules that came into force on Jan. 1, 2018.

CREA says the national average price for homes sold in December was down  4.9 per cent year-over-year, to reach $472,000.

Excluding Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets, the average sale price was just under $375,000.

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