Despite an increase in new listings in many of the country’s major housing markets in February, it wasn’t enough to keep prices from continuing their climb.
In Toronto, the MLS Home Price Index was still up 28% compared to last year—and nearly 6% on a month-over-month basis—while Vancouver prices were up 21% from last year.
Calgary, meanwhile, saw a surge in activity, with sales up 80% from last year and its benchmark price up 16% on an annual basis and up nearly 6% from January.
However, subtle changes are appearing in certain markets, including fewer offers on offer night and less aggressive bidding, according to John Pasalis, founder and president of Realosophy Realty.
“…we are definitely seeing some early signs of cooling, even though the market is deep in seller’s market territory,” he posted in a Twitter thread. He noted that in early February, about 5% of homes with offer nights failed to sell and were re-listed at a higher price. That percentage rose to 10% by the end of the month.
“…a few weeks foes not make a trend, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on how the market involves,” he added. “But I do think this gradual slowdown will continue, partly driven by buyer fatigue, high prices, higher rates, but also the global macroeconomic risks ahead.”
Here’s a look at the February statistics from some of the country’s largest regional real estate boards:
Greater Toronto Area
- -16.8% (YoY)
- +61% month-over-month (MoM)
MLS Home Price Index: $1,334,544
New Listings: 14,147
“Many households sped up their home purchase and entered into a transaction in 2021, which is one reason the number of sales were forecasted to be lower this year and a trending towards higher borrowing cost will have a moderating effect on home sales,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger. “Substantial immigration levels and a continued lack of supply, however, will have a countering effect to increasing mortgage costs.”
Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)
Greater Vancouver Area
MLS Home Price Index for all property types: $1,313,400
New Listings: 5,471
“As we prepare to enter what’s traditionally the busiest season of the year, the Metro Vancouver housing market is seeing more historically typical home sale activity and a modest uptick in home listing activity compared to last year,” said REBGV Chair Taylor Biggar. “[But] despite having a higher volume of people listing their homes for sale in February, the region’s housing market remains significantly undersupplied, which has been pushing home prices to new highs month after month.”
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)
Montreal Census Metropolitan Area
Home Sales: 4,399
Median Price (single-family detached): $550,000
Average Price (condo): $381,000
New Listings: 4,899
“The Bank of Canada’s decision to begin the process of raising key interest rates on March 2 will quite likely mark the beginning of moderation in the excess demand for properties for the rest of the year and a gradual easing of the number and intensity of overbidding situations,” said Charles Brant, QPAREB director of market analysis. “While there is some moderation in the downward trend of properties for sale, the strong imbalance of the market in favour of sellers persists. Pressure on prices therefore remains high.”
Source: Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB)
Benchmark Price (all housing types): $499,400
New Listings: 4,652
“Sales have been somewhat restricted by the lack of supply choice in the market.
While sellers did respond with a record level of new listings this month, the
demand has been so strong that the housing market continues to remain
under-supplied causing further price gains,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie
“While the gains in new listings will help provide choice to purchasers and eventually support more balanced conditions, it will take some time to work through the demand in the market,” the report added.
Source: Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB)
Average Price (single-family detached): $837,517
New Listings: 1,762
“While a month-to-month increase [in sales] is typical for this time of year, the gradation of this increase is higher than previous years, which could be an indication that our spring market may ramp up earlier this year,” said Ottawa Real Estate Board President Penny Torontow.
“At 4% higher than the five-year average and 12% higher than February 2021, [the increase in new listings] resulted in an almost 10% increase in residential-class property inventory compared to last year at this time,” she added. “Condominium supply, however, is down 20%.”
Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB)