On a year-over-year basis, CREA says home sales were down five per cent last month compared to December 2015.
Annually, the number of homes that changed hands was up 6.3 per cent last year compared with 2015 as sales started out strong before softening in the latter part of the year.
The real estate association says the MLS home price index in December was up 14.3 per cent compared with a year ago.
Meanwhile, the national average sale price climbed 3.5 per cent in December compared with a year ago.
The number of homes newly listed for sale slipped three per cent from November to December.
“Home sales are unlikely to benefit the Canadian economy as much in 2017 as they did in 2016,” CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump said in a statement.
“New regulations mean that in order to qualify for a mortgage, home buyers will either have to save longer for a bigger down payment or purchase a lower priced home. In urban centres where the latter are in short supply, that’s likely to translate into fewer sales.”