Scenic view at Toronto city waterfront skyline at sunset
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Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area in February fell compared with a year ago, while the average selling price ticked higher.

The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 5,025 homes sold in the region last month, down from 5,148 in the same month last year.

The average selling price was $780,397, up from $767,801.

The 2.4% drop in the number of homes sold in the region came as the number of new listings fell 6.2%.

New listings in February totalled 9,828, down from 10,473 a year earlier.

The board says the decline suggests that market conditions became tighter compared with last year.

Vancouver home sales were also sluggish last month, with 28% fewer detached properties sold compared to a year earlier, with prices also falling.

In a report, RBC says the evidently soft housing markets of Toronto and Vancouver might not be as weak as statistics suggest.

“February was particularly brutal across Canada this year,” the report says. “Don’t count out buyers returning to market as spring weather sets in.”

Further, the bank isn’t calling for a break from market cooling measures, such as mortgage stress tests. While the bank’s preference to achieve looser demand-supply conditions in key housing markets is a focus on policy to address housing supply, for now “a full-blown housing collapse is highly unlikely” given economic strength and demographic underpinnings, it says.

Read the full RBC report.