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Canada Housing Sales, Prices Jump in September on Tight Supply

By Paul Vieira

 

OTTAWA--Canadian existing home sales rose in September, the first month-over-month increase since March, and prices also jumped, partly reflecting a real-estate market with little inventory available for would-be buyers.

Sales increased 0.9% in September from August, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday. On an actual, non-seasonally adjusted basis, transactions fell nearly 18% in September from a year ago. On a historical basis, sales remain elevated, and the association said September 2021 marked the second-highest tally on record for the month.

The number of new listings fell 1.6% in August from the previous month. As a result, there were just over two months of housing inventory available for purchase at the end of September, down slightly from the preceding summer months. The long-term inventory average is over five months, the association said.

The current level of inventory "is extremely low and indicative of a strong seller's market at the national level and in most local markets," it said in its September sales report.

The association's home-price index climbed 1.7% in September from the previous month, and rose over 21% from a year ago, to reach an average of 750,400 Canadian dollars, or the equivalent of $606,000.

Canada's Liberal Party, which won re-election in September, has pledged to spend billions to accelerate urban housing starts in an attempt to increase residential-unit supply. This marked a shift in strategy, as for nearly a decade both Liberal and Conservative governments in Canada tried to keep housing prices in check by tightening mortgage-financing rules.

Economists at Bank of Nova Scotia have calculated that Canada has the lowest number of housing units per 1,000 residents of any Group of Seven country, as housing construction has failed to keep pace with population growth.

 

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 15, 2021 10:12 ET (14:12 GMT)

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