According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was little changed in on a month-over-month basis.
- National home sales edged up 0.3% from January to February.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 1.9% above 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 large urban markets.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 1.9 per cent above levels posted in February 2013. Most of the year-over-year gain reflects increased sales activity in outline: British Columbia's Lower Mainland and to a lesser extent in Calgary
"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."
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.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
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 , up from a 4.83 per cent gain in January. Year-over-year price growth picked up among all property types tracked by the index.
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