ZOLO Ottawa Real Estate

Canadian home values took another step up in February, reaching an average selling price of $816,720.

The MLS Home Price Index, which removes some of the volatility from seasonality, recorded a month-over-month gain of 3.5% and a 29.2% jump from a year ago.

In Ontario, the average house price has now surpassed the million-dollar mark, rising nearly 26% year-over-year to $1,086,493.

Home resales continued to pick up, rising 4.6% from January, while the number of newly listed homes jumped 23.7%. The increase was led by large gains in the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary and the Fraser Valley.

This increase in new listings is similar to the trend seen in 2020 and again in 2021, noted Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist.

“The real question is, what comes next? In the short term, expect at least one more month of stronger sales as the majority of those new listings came onto the market near the end of the month, so many of the associated sales likely won’t happen until early March,” he noted.

“Ideally, listings will continue to come out in big numbers in the months ahead. Combined with higher interest rates and higher prices, we could be at a turning point where price growth begins to slow down and inventories finally begin to recover after seven years of declines.”

The number of months of inventory remained at its all-time low of 1.6 months, well below the longer-term average of five months.

Removing the high-priced markets of the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, the average price stands at $638,720, which is $110,629 higher than a year ago.

Cross-country roundup of home prices

Resale prices continued to soar in many parts of the country, including throughout Southern Ontario and increasingly in Alberta. In just the past month, average prices increased by $80,100 in the Greater Toronto Area, $60,300 in Barrie, ON and district, $58,200 in the Greater Vancouver Area and $40,600 in Ottawa. Calgary saw prices rise by $25,200 and Edmonton saw a monthly gain of $9,300.

“Calgary’s market has exploded to the upside, with the benchmark price up 34.6% annualized over the past three months, the fastest clip since the heady days of 2006,” noted BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic. “Relative affordability and $100 oil have clearly turned investors to that market.”

Here’s a look at some more regional and local housing market results for February:

  • Ontario: $1,086,493 (+25.8%)
  • Quebec: $498,688 (+18.3)
  • B.C.: $1,104,098 (+24.4%)
  • Alberta: $482,255 (+15.5%)
  • Barrie & District: $940,600 (+37.8%)
  • Greater Toronto Area: $1,340,000 (+35.9%)
  • Halifax-Dartmouth: $459,200 (+33.5%)
  • Victoria: $944,500 (+26.3%)
  • Greater Vancouver Area: $1,313,400 (+20.8%)
  • Greater Montreal Area: $545,900 (+20.3%)
  • Ottawa: $730,300 (+15.9%)
  • Calgary: $484,000 (+15.7%)
  • Winnipeg: $342,400 (+13.5%)
  • St. John’s: $292,900 (+10.9%)
  • Edmonton: $348,900 (+6.9%)

CREA updates its housing market outlook

Along with the February sales data, CREA also released an update to its 2022 forecasts, with upward revisions to both total sales and average prices expected for 2022.

The association now expects 612,800 properties to trade hands this year vs. 610,700 previously. This would represent an 8.1% decline from 2021 sales.

It also sees an annual average sale price of $786,000, a nearly $47,000 increase from its initial forecast released in December. Should that come to fruition, that would represent an annual gain of 14.3% over 2021 prices.

“Not surprisingly, this is higher than the previous forecast, as prices have continued to set new records, reflecting the unprecedented imbalance of housing supply and demand,” CREA noted.

Looking ahead to 2023, it added that home sales should continue to remain strong while moving slowly back to its longer-term average. “Limited supply, higher prices and higher interest rates are expected to further tap the brakes on activity and price growth in 2023 compared to 2022, particularly in Canada’s most expensive markets,” the association added.

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