The February slump was felt nationwide, as CREA’s February home price index sales numbers edged back down 2.1 per cent compared to January, with actual activity plummeting 15.8 per cent compared to February 2012.
“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.”
The number of newly listed homes fell 1.2 per cent from January to February, and national average sale price was down 1 per cent in February compared to the same month a year ago.
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.
“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.”
New listings nationwide dropped 10.3 per cent for February 2013 compared to February 2012.
The Toronto condo market to a hit in sales, dropping 14.8 per cent compared to February 2012, but didn’t fall as hard as Vancouver, who saw condominium sales drop 20.3 per cent in the same period.
The one bright spot was Calgary, which reported an increase in condo sales in February 2013 of 10.5 per cent, compared to the same month a year earlier.