Canadian Home Sales Trend Higher in February, Despite Decline in Available Inventory

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported Wednesday (3-15-23) that home sales recorded over the Canadian MLS® Systems were up 2.3% month-over-month in February. Gains were led by the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver areas.

CREA reports that the actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in February came in 40.0% below an exceedingly strong month of February in 2022. This year, the February sales figure was more comparable to what was seen for that month in 2018 and 2019.

On a month-over-month basis, the number of newly listed homes fell 7.9% in February, led by double-digit declines in several large markets—especially in Ontario.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was down 1.1% month-over-month in February, only about half the decline recorded in January and smallest month-over-month decline since last March. The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI now sits 15.8% below its peak level, reached in February 2022.

According to CREA, at the end of February there were 4.1 months of inventory available, down from 4.2 months at the end of January. CREA noted it was the first time the measure has shown any sign of tightening since the fall of 2021. It is also a full month below its long-term average.

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