Hous­ing mea­sures are cool­ing mar­ket: Morneau

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - ANDY BLATCHFORD

OT­TAWA — The fed­eral fi­nance min­is­ter says steps taken to tame Canada’s hottest hous­ing mar­kets have al­ready helped slow down a sec­tor he be­lieves was mov­ing at an un­sus­tain­able clip.

Bill Morneau’s com­ments Tues­day fol­low this week’s re­lease of data show­ing Canada’s home sales for June posted their big­gest monthly plunge in seven years. The na­tional fig­ure was led by a drop in the Greater Toronto mar­ket. The new data pro­vided the lat­est ev­i­dence that steps taken at fed­eral, pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal lev­els have be­gun to tem­per the coun­try’s real es­tate sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly in the Van­cou­ver and Toronto re­gions.

“What we’ve put in place has had some im­pact — and some im­pact in hav­ing a slight cool­ing in the mar­ket, which of course was our ob­jec­tive,” Morneau told The Cana­dian Press in an in­ter­view at his Ot­tawa of­fice.

Ear­lier Tues­day, Morneau told a news con­fer­ence that changes in the hous­ing sec­tor were play­ing out “largely the way we thought it might.” He also noted, how­ever, that it was “too early” in the emerg­ing sit­u­a­tion to draw con­clu­sions.

On a na­tional ba­sis, last month’s hous­ing trans­ac­tions were down 6.7 per cent com­pared with May, the Cana­dian Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion said Mon­day.

It was the third-straight monthly de­crease.

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