CORRECTED – UPDATE 1-Canada existing home sales fall, sales tax blamed

(Corrects headline to “existing home sales” from “new home
sales”)

* Home resales in July fall 6.8 pct to 31,536

* Average price edges up 1 pct to C$330,351

* New sales taxes hurt sales in British Columbia, Ontario
(Adds details)

TORONTO, Aug 16 (BestGrowthStock) – Sales of existing homes in
Canada fell 6.8 percent in July, almost entirely because of
fewer sales in the big provinces of British Columbia and
Ontario, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on
Monday.

The figures are the latest to show that Canada’s recently
hot housing sector is no longer playing a major role in the
country’s economic recovery. Signs of a slowdown in the housing
market have also cropped up in home-construction data and
new-home prices.

CREA said a total of 31,536 homes changed hands in July,
for the smallest month-on-month decline in two months. Compared
with a year earlier, sales were down 30 percent.

The slowdown in existing-home sales has been much forecast
due to stricter lending rules, rising interest rates, and the
introduction of harmonized sales taxes in Ontario and British
Columbia.

“A slowdown in demand in these two provinces had been
widely expected in July, as many purchases were brought forward
into the first half of the year in advance of the introduction
of the (harmonized sales tax),” CREA said.

The harmonized sales sales tax was introduced in July.
Sales in British Columbia were down 14.1 percent, and in
Ontario, they were off 8 percent. The two provinces accounted
for 85 percent of the change in national activity.

CREA said the national average price in July was C$330,351
($317,645), edging up 1 percent from the same month last year.

The number of new listings fell 7.2 percent from the
previous month.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter
Galloway)

CORRECTED – UPDATE 1-Canada existing home sales fall, sales tax blamed