Home sales remains relatively unchanged in February

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Home sales remained steady in February 2014 on a month-over-month basis according to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s latest stats released Monday.

Markets that marked a drop were roughly even with those that recorded a spike in sales, resulting in a fairly level month for sales.

“Sales in February rebounded in some of the smaller local markets where activity was impacted by harsh winter weather in January,” CREA President Laura Leyser said. “The strength of sales activity during the crucial spring market period will be influenced by the availability of listings, which varies considerably from market to market."

British Columbia and Northwest Territories recorded the largest year-over-year percentage changes in sales activity, reporting a 23.9 per cent increase (BC) and 100 per cent increase (NWT), respectively.

Conversely, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces all recorded drops ranging from -3.6 per cent (Ontario) to -11.8 per cent (Prince Edward Island).

According to CREA, spring sales will be bolstered by declining rates, which are expected to draw buyers to the market.

“Sales activity this spring will be supported by the recent decline in the benchmark five-year conventional mortgage rate,” Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist said. “That’s because buyers needing mortgage default insurance who opt for a term of less than five years must qualify for mortgage financing based on that rate, and not a discounted rate that their lender may be offering.

“The support will be of particular importance in some of Canada’s larger urban markets where home prices are higher than those in smaller markets.”

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