Property buyers across the country closed deals at a rapid rate during September, and it's easy to see why. The combination of historically low interest rates and the desire to lock in mortgages led to increased sales last month.

As compared to last year, sales of existing homes increased by 18.2 per cent. Nationally, home sales edged up by 0.8 per cent from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to  monthly figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

“Year-over-year increases in the sales over the past couple of months highlights how activity softened across much of the country following the introduction of tighter mortgage rules last summer,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump

Among the best performers in September were the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver, which offset declines observed in Montreal and Calgary.

Also on the rise was the average national home price, which was $385,906. This represents an 8.8 per cent increase since 2012. CREA notes that the year-over-year average price growth in recent months “reflect the decline in sales activity recorded last year in some of Canada’s larger and more expensive markets which caused the national average price to drop.”

Newly-listed homes fell by 1.4 per cent on a month-over-month basis, with noticeable declines observed in such markets as Ottawa, London and Fraser Valley.

“Sales activity across much of the country has improved in recent months following a slow start to the year and new listings in some areas have not kept pace,” said CREA president Laura Leyser.

Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of 40 to 60 per cent, about three of every five local markets were in balanced market territory in September.


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