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Canadian home sales climb for first time in five months

Canadian home sales climb for first time in five months
Business
Canadian home sales rose for the first time in five months in January, with Montreal leading gains that stretched across about half of markets nationwide.

Sales climbed 3.6 per cent compared to December, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday from Ottawa. There were increases in all three of Canada’s biggest cities, with Montreal posting a 7.1 per cent increase and gains of 1.2 per cent in both Toronto and Vancouver.

The report adds to evidence the nation’s housing sector is showing signs of stabilizing, after tighter mortgage rules and rising borrowing costs cooled it down for much of last year and raised worries that real estate markets could be headed for a major correction.

“Homebuyers are still adapting to tightened mortgage regulations brought in last year,” CREA President Barb Sukkau said in the statement.

There were still some signs of weakness in the report. Benchmark prices fell 0.5 per cent on the month and sales are still down from a year ago, falling 4 per cent from January 2018.
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