Regina Home Sales Up 5.9% In February

by Shayla on Sunday March 17, 2013

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

Originally posted March 15, 2013.

REGINA — Regina’s 5.9 per cent increase in existing home sales from January to February bucked the national trend of a 2.1 per cent decrease during the same period, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).However, the home sales picture in the capital city looks less rosy when compared with last year. Home sales in Regina declined 26.5 per cent in February compared with February 2012, while sales were down 26.9 per cent for the year to date, CREA said Friday.

Across Canada, the residential real estate market continued to cool in February, a trend that the industry’s main association says is fallout from tougher borrowing and lending rules brought in last summer.

For February, sales were down 15.8 per cent compared with a year ago — a decline that was exaggerated slightly by an extra day in February 2012.

Sales were down 2.1 per cent month-to-month in February — reversing a small gain in January.

Of the 26 local markets tracked by CREA, all but one showed year-to-year declines in actual sales — with Edmonton being the exception.

The national average price for homes sold in February through its members was $368,895 — a one per cent decline from the same month last year.

CREA also cut its forecast for sales this year after a weak second half of 2012 that saw sales slow more than it expected some markets. The association said 2013 sales are expected to total 441,500 units, down 2.9 per cent from 454,573 in 2012.

The revised outlook compared with earlier expectations for a two per cent drop in sales. The national average home price is forecast to slip by 0.2 per cent to $362,600.

“Mortgage rules are expected to remain as they are, so sales should be less volatile than they have been in recent years,” said Gregory Klump, the association’s chief economist. “Interest rates are also expected to remain low as the economy grows and adds jobs, which is supportive for the resale housing market.”

Klump noted the decline from early 2012 reflects reduced demand due to tighter mortgage rules brought in by the federal government last July.

“Until we get well into the summer months, year-over-year comparisons to months in the first half of 2012 are predictably going to be down significantly but not necessarily be indicative of further deterioration,” Klump said.

In 2014 however, CREA forecasts sales will gain 4.5 per cent to 461,200 due to a slow but steady improvement, while the national average price is expected to gain 1.7 per cent to $368,700.

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

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Shayla Ackerman Regina Realtor