(Adds CREA forecast update, details)
TORONTO Dec 15 Sales of Canadian homes fell 5.3
percent in November from October while prices kept rising, a
report from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed on
The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally
adjusted, were up 1.6 percent from November last year, while
home prices rose 14.4 percent from a year ago.
Surging home prices and consumer debt have sparked fears the
gains could end in a housing collapse, with prices accelerating
in the major cities of Toronto and Vancouver.
But there are signs of cooling real estate markets outside
of Toronto as the government takes more steps to rein in
Activity in Vancouver already was cooling when the
provincial government put a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers in
August to alleviate concerns the market has become unaffordable.
CREA said it was slightly increasing its forecast for total
sales activity for 2016, including an upward revision for
Ontario and a downward revision for British Columbia. It said
price rises would be higher than it had previously expected in
Ontario and lower in British Columbia.
Years of low interest rates since the global financial
crisis have helped spur home prices higher as consumers have
taken on more and more debt.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)