(Updates with analyst comment in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian existing home sales last month posted their biggest increase since January, the Canadian Real Estate Association said, led by gains in Toronto and Montreal.
Seasonally adjusted home sales increased to 38,377 units during September from 37,326 units in August, the organization said in a statement today. Purchases rose 11.0 percent from a year earlier, down from a 15.8 percent annual pace in August.
While Canada’s real estate market has been strong since 2009, with buyers taking advantage of historically low interest rates and available credit from banks, the market slowed earlier this year after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage rules earlier and rising prices made home purchases less affordable.
“The report still reinforces the general theme of a soft landing in the housing market,” Mazen Issa, Canada macro strategist for TD Securities Inc. in Toronto, said in a note to investors.
Home sales in Toronto rose 5.2 percent in September, and increased 2 percent in Montreal. The average sale price for a Canadian home gained 0.3 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted C$357,942 ($351,900).
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