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  • Fergal McALinden

Homebuying activity slows across Canada


New data shows first slowdown for three months


Home sales fell across Canada in February, the first time for three months activity has dipped after a surge at the end of last year and beginning of 2024.


New Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data released on Monday showed that activity ticked 3.1% lower last month than in January as new listings increased, with the national average home price coming in at $685,809 – a 3.5% year-over-year jump.


February’s slower pace of activity arrived with the Bank of Canada remaining tight-lipped on when it plans to begin cutting interest rates, although CREA indicated in its release that it expects homebuying to ramp up soon.


Compared with the same time last year, activity was significantly up. February’s home sales were 19.7% higher than 12 months prior, despite the Bank of Canada’s benchmark interest rate having risen over that period.


Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist, added that February could be the last “relatively uneventful” month before purchasing begins to gather pace.


“With so much demand having piled up on the sidelines, the story will likely be less about the exact timing of interest rate cuts and more about how many homes come up for sale this year,” he said.


New listings on the market inched upwards by 1.6% in February, while the ratio of sales to new listings was 55.6% – just above the long-term average and showing a degree of balance between supply and demand in the market, according to CREA.

 

Fengal McAlinden

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March 18, 2024

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