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A house with a sold sign is seen in the Seaton Village neighbourhood in Toronto.

Matthew Sherwood

Sales of existing homes in Canada climbed 1.4 per cent in February from January, following a decline in the previous month, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Thursday.

The industry group said sales were up 8.6 per cent from a year earlier, compared with a 4 per cent gain in January. The annual numbers were not seasonally adjusted.

The national average home price rose 2 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February, compared with a 1.2 per cent gain in January.

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Meanwhile, the number newly listed homes advanced 1.9 per cent month-over-month.

Canada's buoyant housing sector is being closely watched by policy makers and economists, with some voicing fears the market is overheated and entering bubble territory in certain cities, such as Toronto.

Housing activity has been boosted by record low mortgage rates offered by some lenders, including Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada.

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