Home sales down in February

By Staff | March 15, 2013 | Last updated on March 15, 2013
2 min read

National home sales activity edged back down on a month-over-month basis in February following an increase in January, according to statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Read: Canadian housing continues to cool

Key figures:

  • National home sales declined 2.1% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 15.8% below levels in February 2012.
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 1.2% from January to February.
  • The Canadian housing market remains firmly in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price was down 1% on a year-over-year basis in February.
  • The MLS HPI rose 2.7% in February, the smallest gain since March 2011.

Home sales picked up in just under half of all local markets from January to February, but small declines in the very large markets of Greater Toronto and Montreal combined with larger declines in the large and medium sized markets of Greater Vancouver and Winnipeg tipped the balance nationally to the downside.

New listings were down in about 60% of local markets in February, with the largest declines reported in Greater Toronto, Montreal, Greater Vancouver, and Saskatoon.

Read: Housing affordability not a problem for most families

With sales and new listings having both edged lower, the national sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at 50.2% in February compared to 50.7% in January. This reading has held fairly steady around this level for the past seven months. Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40%-to-60%, about 60% of all local markets were in balanced market territory 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, and it too was little changed in February.

Nationally, there were 6.8 months of inventory at the end of February 2013, up from 6.6 months reported at the end of January.

Read: New mortgage rules cool housing market

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in February 2013 was $368,895, representing a 1% decline from the same month last year. There were fewer sales compared to year ago levels in relatively pricey Greater Vancouver, which continues to exert a strong gravitational pull on the national average sale price. Excluding Greater Vancouver, which currently accounts for less than 6% of national activity, from the national average price calculation yields a year-over-year increase of 1.3%.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.