08/15/2018 10:54 EDT | Updated 08/15/2018 10:59 EDT

Home Sales In Canada Rise Modestly As CREA Warns Of Continuing Hard Times For Buyers

The average house price in Canada is up one per cent in the past year.

Mark Blinch / Reuters
A real estate for sale sign at a newly-built subdivision in East Gwillimbury, Ont., Jan. 30, 2018. The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in July were up 1.9 per cent compared with June.

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in July were up 1.9 per cent compared with June.

The increase was led by the Greater Toronto Area, while more than half of all local housing markets reported an increase in sales from June to July.

Compared with a year ago, sales in July were down 1.3 per cent due to fewer sales in major urban centres in British Columbia.

Earlier on HuffPost:

CREA chief economist Gregory Klump suggested Canadian homebuyers would continue to struggle with the tougher new environment for homebuyers.

"Rising interest rates and this year's stress test on mortgage applicants will likely prove to be difficult hurdles to overcome for many would-be first time and move-up homebuyers, heading into the second half of the year and beyond," Klump said.

However CREA President Barb Sukkau suggested that the impact of the stress tests "may be starting to fade slightly in Toronto and nearby markets."

Earlier on HuffPost Canada:

Toronto's market showed signs of life in July, with sales up 18.6 per cent from the previous July, though that compares to a particularly weak period last year in the wake of a new foreign buyers' tax in the Greater Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe areas.

Sales in Vancouver tumbled by 30 per cent in July, to the weakest reading in 18 years.

The actual national average price for homes sold in July was just under $481,500, up one per cent from the same month last year. CREA says it was the first year-over-year increase since January.

Excluding the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto markets, the national average price was just under $383,000.

— With a file from HuffPost Canada