There was a slight increase in home sales in September compared to August but most markets were down from a year ago.

Figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association show a 2.1% rise in sales through the MLS system month-over-month but sales were lower than September 2016 in three quarters of local markets.

Activity was varied across markets with gains led by Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, the GTA, London and St Thomas, and Barrie. Nationally, actual activity was down 11% year-over-year.

“National sales appear to be stabilizing,” said CREA President Andrew Peck. “While encouraging, it’s too early to tell if this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. The national result continues to be influenced heavily by trends in Toronto and Vancouver but housing market conditions vary widely across Canada.”

New listings were up in September with a national rise of 5% driven by a jump in the GTA. With a national sales-to-new listings ratio of 55.7%, the market is considered balanced.

For the first time in almost 7 years benchmark home prices were up in all 13 markets tracked by CREA’s MLS Home Price Index.

Apartments saw the largest year-over-year price rise - up 19.8% - with townhouse/row units up 13.5% and single-family homes up 7.9% (one storey) and 7.2% (two storey).

The average national sales price (not seasonally adjusted) was up almost 3% from a year ago to $487,000 ($374,500 excluding Greater Vancouver and the GTA).

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