UPDATE 1-Canada home sales edge lower in November

Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:05am EST
 
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* Sales dip in month, but well above year-ago levels

* Surge in summer, autumn demand deflate winter appetite

* Prices still rising; analysts see soft landing

By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Sales of existing homes in Canada dipped in November from October as a surge in autumn sales spurred by rising mortgage rates abated, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Monday.

The industry group for Canadian real estate agents said sales activity was down 0.1 percent last month from October.

While actual sales for November, not seasonally adjusted, rose 5.9 percent from a year earlier, CREA said activity was sharply lower than just two months earlier, when the prospect of rising mortgage rates spurred home buying.

"National sales activity in November stood 3.4 percent below the peak reached in September, providing further evidence that activity in the later summer and early fall was likely boosted by home buyers with pre-approved mortgages at lower than current interest rates jumping into the market before their pre-approvals expired," CREA said.

The prospect of rising mortgage rates typically steals demand from the future, a drop now in evidence.   Continued...