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(OTTAWA) Residential property sales fell 40 per cent in February compared to the same month last year, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Wednesday.

February sales were comparable to those recorded during the same month in 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the association pointed out.

The year-over-year decline in home sales in February came as the national average sale price posted an 18.9% drop from the all-time high of February 2022.

The association said the real average home price in Canada was $662,437 in February.

Compared with January, national home sales rose 2.3% in February, fueled by gains in home sales in Toronto and Vancouver, CREA said.

The number of newly listed properties fell 7.9% month over month.

In the eyes of real estate association president Jill Oudil, the February data suggests the potential for a more robust market ahead.

“As we said last month, it’s impossible to know until spring what the market has in store for us in 2023,” she said in a statement.

“Sales and listings don’t reflect this yet, but presumably sellers are busy preparing their properties for sale and potential buyers are busy getting their mortgage pre-approved. »

AIT senior economist Shaun Cathcart observed that similarities between 2023 and 2019 continued to emerge in February. “Sales are increasing, the market is tightening, and the month-to-month price declines are easing,” he said.