Canada’s housing market showed signs of life in February following a year of cooling off, but experts are watching the typically busy spring season to determine whether the bottom of the correction has passed.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Wednesday that while monthly home sales were down 40 per cent from the same month a year earlier in February, sales actually rose 2.3 per cent from January. That was thanks largely to an uptick in activity in the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, CREA said.
The average national sale price was $662,437 last month, down 18.9 per cent from the all-time high in February 2022 — the month that most consider the peak of the frenzied pandemic housing market in Canada.
Without the Greater Toronto and Vancouver markets, however, the average home price would be roughly $135,000 less, the agency said.
But there are signs the rout on home prices is slowing. CREA’s Home Price Index (HPI), which provides a benchmark of prices across Canada, shows the aggregate composite price was down 15.8 per cent from a year ago. The HPI aggregate price was down 1.1 per cent month to month, marking about half the decrease from the previous period and the smallest such drop since last March.
The 2023 sales figures for February showed that activity was close to the same levels as in 2018 and 2019, CREA said.
“February’s data contained the potential of a more robust market to come, but to repeat the bottom line from last month, we won’t know what the 2023 market has in store until the spring,” CREA chair Jill Oudil said in a statement accompanying the data release.
The number of newly listed homes was down 7.9 per cent in February compared with a month earlier, CREA said.
More to come.
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