Canadian Home Sales Climb for First Time in Five Months

(Bloomberg) -- 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 percent 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 percent increase and gains of 1.2 percent 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 percent on the month and sales are still down from a year ago, falling 4 percent from January 2018.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.