TORONTO Oct 20 Canada has done enough to slow
its housing market and prevent a crash like that seen in the
United States or Spain, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on
Speaking on CBC Radio, Flaherty said he had no plans to take
further action to take froth out of the housing market, after a
series of moves to tighten conditions for mortgage lending. The
most recent change was in July.
"We've done enough, I do not intend to do any more,"
Flaherty said, adding that he was pleased at signs of a slowdown
in key sectors of the market, like the condo market in the big
cities of Toronto and Vancouver.
Canada's housing prices fell during the global recession,
but the market bounced back stronger than before, with bidding
wars for properties in many cities. The higher prices prompted
fears that buyers were taking on too much debt, and that the
market could be heading for a hard landing.
But the market has cooled abruptly since the last round of
changes to mortgage rules, easing fears that debt levels would
just continue to grow.
Figures released earlier this week show that sales of
existing homes were 15.1 percent below year-ago levels in
September, while the 3.9 percent rise in the home price index of
the Canadian Real Estate Association was the smallest gain since