UPDATE 1-Canada home resales rise for fourth straight month

* Home resales in November rise 4.8 percent to 37,658

* Average price rises 2 pct to C$344,268 from year ago

TORONTO, Dec 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Sales of existing homes in
Canada rose for a fourth straight month in November,
reinforcing market sentiment that stability is returning to the
sector after it cooled earlier this year from the red-hot
levels of 2009.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on
Wednesday a total of 37,658 homes changed hands in November, up
4.8 percent from 35,936 in October. Sales were down 9.3 percent
from November 2009.

“The persistence of large year-over-year declines from
last year’s record levels has been masking the steady
improvement in national sales activity since July 2010,” CREA
said.

Seasonally adjusted activity was up from October levels in
two-thirds of local markets, including eight of Canada’s 10
most active markets.

Month-over-month increases were reported in core markets
such as a 2.6 percent rise in Calgary, a 6.9 percent gain in
Edmonton, and 8.2 percent higher in Montreal. The country’s two
biggest markets also posted solid increases in November, with
Toronto rising 6.0 percent and the Greater Vancouver Area
adding 11.3 percent.

Low mortgage rates have continued to be a key factor
leading to renewed strength in the residential housing market.
But the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will lift interest
rates in the second half of next year could dampen activity in
2011 and drag on economic growth.

“We expect home sales to remain well supported over the
next couple of quarters before increases in borrowing rates
eventually begin to ease the pace of sales,” said Pascal
Gauthier, senior economist at TD Bank.

“The bottom line is that before long, eroding affordability
and resale housing sector sluggishness will slightly dampen
economic growth.”

CREA said the national average price in November rose to
C$344,268 ($342,555), up 2 percent from November last year.

The number of new listings slipped 0.7 percent from
October.

($1=$1.005 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter
Galloway)

UPDATE 1-Canada home resales rise for fourth straight month