Home sales in February dropped 40 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
That decline comes despite the fact national home sales in February rose 2.3 per cent compared to January.
The association says February sales were comparable to what was recorded during the same month in 2018 and 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing supply fell, with the number of newly listed properties down 7.9 per cent from January.
The average price of a Canadian home sold in February was $662,437, an 18.9 per cent decrease from the same period last year — though about $50,000 more than in January, thanks to sales gains in major markets Toronto and Vancouver.
The report also noted that prices in Canadian markets like Calgary, St. John’s, Regina and Saskatoon are still close to their peaks, even as high prices generally ease up across the country, including in parts of Ontario and B.C.
Jill Oudil, chair of the real estate association, says February’s data suggests the potential of a more robust market to come.
“But to repeat the bottom line from last month, we won’t know what the 2023 market has in store until the spring,” she said in a statement.
“While we’re not seeing it in the sales or listings data just yet, I would expect homeowners are getting properties ready for the market and prospective buyers are getting mortgage pre-approvals.”
In January, home sales were the lowest for the month since 2009.