Friday, March 17, 2006

Latest News from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) - March 7, 2006

February strong month for MLS®
Records broken in some major markets
Some of Canada's largest real estate Boards reported record MLS® sales in February, despite a new survey indicating a drop in the number of Canadians intending to buy a home in 2006.

The Toronto Real Estate Board also reported a nine per cent increase in MLS® sales in February compared to the same month a year ago. TREB President John Meehan said the 6,756 transactions represent the second best February ever, within two per cent of the record set in February of 2002.

"The performance of the Toronto area market early in the year has been very encouraging," Meehan said. “We are not yet at the peak of the spring season, but consumers are showing confidence in what is consistently proving to be a solid, healthy real estate market." TREB statistics showed that during February, two of the most expensive areas within the city of Toronto also ranked amongst the most active in terms of sales, compared to February 2005.

"The market is very stable," Meehan added. "Great conditions exist right now and smart consumers understand that it's a good time to buy that first home or make the move to a different one." The average transaction price reported by TREB also cracked the $350,000 mark for the first time in February.

Montreal's residential resale market broke another record in February by generating more than $1 billion in sales for the month. "All indicators point to another strong year for real estate in 2006," said Michel Beausejour, CEO of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board.

A total of 4,978 sales were registered on the board's Multiple Listings Service® in February, up four per cent from 4,803 sales in the same month of 2005. The total sales dollar value in February was $1.02 billion, up 10 per cent compared with the $932 million recorded in February, 2005 on the Montreal area MLS® system.

The increase in average prices is one reason for the jump in total value. The average price of single-family homes in Montreal rose four per cent to $312,000.

The Winnipeg Real Estate Board says MLS® sales in February were the best for the month in the 103-year history of the Board. $115 million worth of properties were sold last month through the board's Multiple Listing Service®, an increase of 28 per cent from the $90 million sold in February of last year, which had been the best February on record. Last month also tied with 1988 for the best February on record for unit sales, with 794 properties changing hands.

"It just goes on and on," WREB president Walter Boni said in an interview yesterday. "And personally, I don't see it letting up any time soon, when you see the number of people out looking.” Boni said he hosted an open-house recently that drew more than 40 prospective buyers, and he knows of another that attracted more than 50. "That tells you what the demand is like," he said.

In Calgary, residential MLS® sales totaled 3,060 units, a 37.7 per cent increase over February 2005's sales of 2,223, and a 27.1 per cent increase over January 2006's sales of 2,408. The average combined residential sale price for February 2006 was $304,560 a 26 per cent increase over February 2005, and a 5.3 per cent increase over January 2006's average price of $289,130.

“The February real estate market continued to demonstrate the power of an open and competitive market; supplies remain limited and demand high resulting in increased prices and fast sales in many communities” explained CREB® President, Kevin Clark. “Despite the opportunity for many, we are not reading about the losers; if one chooses not to sell competitively or one buys without assistance the market can cost you a lot of money.”

A national survey of buying intentions published by the Royal Bank said home buying intentions are at their lowest level since 2000. "While the intention to buy is still evident, a natural slowdown following several record buying seasons may partially explain the mood among Quebecers when it comes to ... home buying," said Danielle Coutlee of RBC personal finance services. (CREA 07/03/2006)


  1. Very detailed market appraisal. Do you have an update for this fall or next spring?

  2. Hi Dave,

    I will be updating this information shortly.

    Thanks for yoru comments,