home ownership
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While housing prices remain near record levels, there are signs that the relentless increase in prices is slowing, Statistics Canada says.

In June new home prices rose by 0.6% on a national basis — the smallest increase in six months, StatsCan reported.

The national statistical agency also pointed to other signs of cooling in the market, such as a decline in listings for the third straight month and a drop in sales activity in most local markets.

“The current market slowdown, partly due to buyer fatigue, has started to manifest in the housing market, with fewer buyers ready to engage in bidding wars,” StatsCan said.

“As well, the desire to buy a home could start subsiding as pandemic measures are lifted and many workers return to offices,” it suggested.

Looking ahead to the fall, StatsCan said that home prices may be weaker if “sales continue to decrease faster than available listings.”

Despite these recent signs of slowing, StatsCan reported that prices are up 11.9% on a year-over-year basis to near record highs at the national level.

Certain markets have seen record increases over the past year, led by the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area, where prices are up 27.7%; prices in Ottawa are up 26.2%; and Windsor gained 22.8%, StatsCan reported.

Calgary reported the largest monthly increase in June, with prices up 3.5%.

“Employment gains may have driven up the demand for housing,” StatsCan said.

“Although employment in Alberta has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, there is evidence of recovery as most industries, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas, employed more people in June 2021 than in June of last year.”