According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national resale housing activity in February 2011 ran close to the five-year average for the month, continuing a theme that has characterized the past four months.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards came in 5.9 per cent below levels reported last February. This marks the smallest year-over-year decline in nine months, and the fourth consecutive month in which sales activity was on par with the five-year average for that month.
Seasonally adjusted home sales activity edged down 1.6 per cent in February 2011 compared to the previous month on a national basis. Sales activity eased in almost two-thirds of all local markets from the previous month, offsetting monthly increases in activity among other markets including Vancouver and Calgary.
Nationally, new listings in February edged up 1.5 per cent from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, which builds on the 4.3 per cent monthly increase in January. The rise in new listings is consistent with CREA's expectation that many sellers, who shied away from listing their home last summer when the national housing market softened, would list their home in early 2011, having by now observed improved demand and stable prices.
With both sales activity and new supply little changed in February, the housing market remained firmly in balanced territory. The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 53.5 per cent in February. This is little changed from the previous four months.