Canadian Home Sales Stable For February 2014

According to The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity posted its fifth consecutive month-over-month decline in January 2014.

Here are the Highlights:

    National home sales edged up 0.3% from January to February.
    Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 1.9% above February 2013 levels.
    The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.6% from January to February.
    The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
    The national average sale price rose 10.1% on a year-over-year basis in February.
    The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.1% year-over-year in February.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations was little changed from January to February 2014, edging up just three tenths of one per cent. The February result follows five straight monthly declines and leaves activity 9.3 per cent below the peak reached in August 2013.

The number of local housing markets where February sales were up ran roughly even with the number of markets where sales declined, with little change in activity among most of Canada’s large urban markets.

“Sales in February rebounded in some of the smaller local markets where activity was impacted by harsh winter weather in January,” said CREA President Laura Leyser. “The strength of sales activity during the crucial spring market period will be influenced by the availability of listings, which varies considerably from market to market. To best understand how the balance between available listings and demand is shaping up this spring where you live or might like to, your best bet is to talk to your local REALTOR®.”

“Sales activity this spring will be supported by the recent decline in the benchmark five-year conventional mortgage rate,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “That’s because buyers needing mortgage default insurance who opt for a term of less than five years must qualify for mortgage financing based on that rate, and not a discounted rate that their lender may be offering. The support will be of particular importance in some of Canada’s larger urban markets where home prices are higher than those in smaller markets.”

The number of newly listed homes was also little changed in February, having edged up 0.6 per cent on a month-over-month basis. As with sales activity, there was a roughly even split between the number of local markets where new listings were up from the previous month and those where they were down. The number of new listings nationally would have declined had it not been for a 7.8 per cent increase in Greater Toronto, where new listings in January had dropped to the lowest level in more than three years. The rise in new listings in Greater Toronto was offset by monthly declines in new listings in Greater Vancouver and Edmonton.

With sales and new listings having both edged slightly higher in February, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was 52.1 per cent – virtually unchanged from 52.3 per cent in January. Since early 2010, the ratio has remained firmly entrenched within the range from 40 to 60 per cent that marks balanced territory. Just under two-thirds of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in February.

There were 6.4 months of inventory at the national level at the end of February 2014, down slightly from 6.5 months at the end of January. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the months of inventory measure continues to point to a well-balanced housing market at the national level.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2014 was $406,372, an increase of 10.1 per cent from the same month last year. The size of year-over-year average price gains continues to reflect the decline in sales activity in February of last year among some of Canada’s most active and expensive markets, which dropped the national average at that time. This phenomenon was particularly clear this month, with Greater Vancouver having posted the biggest year-over-year increase in activity by a large margin.

Want to read the whole story and review the statistics? Here's the link to CREA.


Posted by Steven Fudge, purveyor of and proprietor of, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted In: Canada

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