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Homes are pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Vancouver home sales jumped 55 per cent in November compared to a year ago when prospective home buyers were grappling with tougher mortgage rules and rising interest rates.

In the greater Vancouver area, sales rose to 2,498 homes last month compared with 1,608 the previous year, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Sales activity started to rise over the summer and fall after the market slowed in 2018 when Ottawa implemented the mortgage stress test, which requires buyers to prove they can afford their home loans at a higher interest rate.

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“We are definitely seeing a change from the first half of the year into the second half,” said Ashley Smith, the real estate board’s president. “We are starting to see confidence back in the market.”

Earlier in the year, when activity hit a multiyear low, potential buyers were waiting to see if the market would stay down and were reluctant to jump in, Ms. Smith said. But as sales increased for detached houses, townhouses and condos, buyers gained more confidence and prices began to move up in some parts of the region, such as Burnaby and Port Coquitlam.

For the second consecutive month in the greater Vancouver area, the benchmark sale price for all types of housing increased slightly from the previous month.

The benchmark price of $993,700 in November was higher than October’s price of $992,900, but still 5 per cent lower than November, 2018.

“Certainly the decline in prices has slowed and in some areas, we are starting to see a moderate increase in values,” Ms. Smith said.

The benchmark price for a detached home was $1,415,400 in November, a 6-per-cent decline from 12 months ago but a 0.3-per-cent increase from October.

The benchmark price for a semi-detached home or townhouse was $772,800, lower than last November but 0.2 per cent higher than October.

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Meanwhile, the benchmark price for a condo hit $651,500 last month, a 4-per-cent decrease from the previous year and a 0.2-per-cent drop from October.

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