Sales and prices of existing homes in Canada soared last month, capping a whirlwind year that began weakly and then went on to set record highs for prices, and further stir debate of a housing bubble.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said that 27,722 homes changed hands in December, up 72% from the same month in 2008, when activity almost ceased due to the global financial crisis.

'Sales activity in 2009 came in like a lamb and went out like a lion,' said CREA president Dale Ripplinger.

South China Morning Post