OTTAWA, March 15, 2013 /CNW/ - According to statistics released today by
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales
activity edged back down on a month-over-month basis in February 2013
following an increase in January.
National home sales declined 2.1% from January to February.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 15.8% below levels in
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
The MLS® HPI rose 2.7% in February, the smallest gain since March 2011.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of real
estate Boards and Associations and other cooperative listing systems in
Canada fell 2.1 per cent on a month-over-month basis in February 2013.
The decline reversed the small gain recorded in January, leaving sales
slightly below levels seen in recent months. National activity has
generally held steady near current levels since it initially geared
down in August in the wake of tighter mortgage lending rules and
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.
"A rebound in sales in some of Canada's largest and most expensive
markets, similar to those we saw following previous mortgage rule
changes, has so far remained elusive," said CREA President Wayne Moen.
"That said, the slowdown in many big markets is being offset by
activity in many smaller and more affordable markets that were less
impacted by last year's mortgage rule changes. This serves as a
reminder that all real estate is local. Buyers and sellers should speak
to their REALTOR® to understand how the housing market is shaping up
where they live or might like to."
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 15.8 per cent below
levels reported in February 2012. Almost 80 per cent of local markets
posted year-over-year declines in sales activity in February, the most
notable exception being Edmonton.
"February 2012 saw an extra selling day due to the leap year. However,
the year-over-year decline between this February and last year is
largely a reflection of demand that is well off from 2012," said
Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "The cooling off of the housing
market resulted from tighter mortgage rules and guidelines coming into
force in mid-July last year, with most of the decline in the sales
occurring in August. Since then, sales activity has been flying at a
lower altitude but has not shown much in the way of further
deterioration. Until we get well into the summer months, year-over-year
comparisons to months in the first half of 2012 are predictably going
to be down significantly but not necessarily be indicative of further
deterioration. Rather, year-over-year comparisons will continue to
reflect the long shadow cast by higher sales prior to last summer's
policy tightening. Looking at the monthly trend since then shows that
we've been seeing reasonably stable trends for demand and prices."
The number of newly listed homes fell 1.2 per cent month-over-month in
February, leaving them at their lowest level since November 2010. New
listings have been trending down in tandem with a slowdown in demand.
This has kept the housing market in balanced territory and held the
overall number of homes for sale in check.
New listings were down in about 60 per cent of local markets in
February, with the largest declines reported in Greater Toronto,
Montreal, Greater Vancouver, and Saskatoon.
With sales and new listings having both edged lower, the national
sales-to-new listings ratio was little changed at 50.2 per cent in
February compared to 50.7 per cent 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 per cent, about 60 per
cent of all local markets were in balanced market territory in
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
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.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes
sold in February 2013 was $368,895, representing a one per cent 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
six per cent of national activity - from the national average price
calculation yields a year-over-year increase of 1.3 per cent.
Unlike average price, the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) is not
affected by changes in the mix of sales, so it provides the best gauge
of Canadian home price trends.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 2.7 per cent on a year-over-year
basis in February. This marks the tenth time in as many months that the
year-over-year gain shrank and the slowest rate of increase since March
Year-over-year price gains decelerated for one-storey single family
homes (+4.2 per cent), two-storey single family homes (+2.9 per cent),
and apartment units (+0.8per cent). In contrast, year-over-year price
growth picked up for the fifth straight month in the townhouse/row
segment (+2.4 per cent).
The MLS® HPI rose fastest in Calgary (+8.0% year-over-year), marking
some of the strongest price growth that city has seen since the spring
Price growth moderated in Greater Toronto (+3.2% year-over-year) and the
Fraser Valley (+0.4% year-over-year), while accelerating slightly in
Greater Montreal (+2.7 per cent).
In Greater Vancouver, the MLS® HPI slipped further into negative
territory, posting a 3.3 per cent year-over-year decline in February.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines
both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in
establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in
centres comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods or account for
price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information
contained in this report includes all housing types.
MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada's real
estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada's largest
single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000
REALTORS® working through more than 90 real estate Boards and
Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.
SOURCE: Canadian Real Estate Association
For further information:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460