Canadian home sales fall for the first time in four months: CREA

A real estate for sale sign is pictured in front of a home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Nelms/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Resales of Canadian homes fell 0.2% in June from the previous month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Monday in the first decline reported since home sales plunged in February.

The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 0.3% from a year earlier because of gains in the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal, while the group’s Home Price Index was down 0.3% from June last year.

Canada’s “nearly unchanged national tally,” CREA said, was the result of “an even split between the number of local markets” where sales rose and fell. Gains were seen in the province of Quebec and Southern Ontario, while home sales fell in the Greater Vancouver Area, Calgary, Halifax as well as Newfoundland and Labrador.

“There’s a growing divergence in Canadian housing market trends between eastern and western Canada,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.

“While sales activity in Canada’s three westernmost provinces appears to have stopped deteriorating, it will be some time before supply and demand there becomes better balanced and the outlook for home prices improves,” he said.

Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; Editing by Alistair Bell