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TORONTO Oct 4 Home sales in the Vancouver
region's heated housing market fell for the second consecutive
month after the province introduced a tax on foreign home
ownership, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on
In a statement, the board said September's sales were at
2,253 homes, down 32.6 percent on a year-to-year basis and down
9.5 percent from August, the first full month after British
Columbia announced a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers.
Soaring prices in Canada's two most expensive markets,
Toronto and Vancouver, have raised concerns about a bubble and
speculation by foreigners, mostly from mainland China. Home
prices in Toronto and Vancouver have more than doubled in the
last 11 years.
The Canadian government said on Monday it will tighten
mortgage rules and close a tax loophole on home sales, seeking
to rein in both foreign investors and indebted consumers in its
latest move to cool the market.
The board said Metro Vancouver's September home sales dipped
below the 10-year monthly sales average for the first time since
A benchmark price for home prices in the region is at
C$931,900 ($709,074), a 28.9 percent increase compared with
September 2015, but a 0.1 percent decline compared with August,
the board said.
"Changing market conditions are easing upward pressure on
home prices in our region," board president Dan Morrison said in
Vancouver home sales fell sharply in August after its tax on
foreign buyers, and policymakers there also promised to tax
vacant homes to discourage absentee investment from overseas.
Some believe those measures just drove foreign investors
eastward to Toronto, forcing the government to act again.
On Monday's federal announcement, analysts have said the
measures will likely send overseas buyers to other markets while
raising mortgage costs at home.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Meredith
Mazzilli and Marguerita Choy)