There was a glimmer of good news in the Canadian Real Estate Association's February national resale numbers, just out. While CREA reports that housing resales were down 31 per cent in February compared to the same month a year earlier, resales were up 8.6 per cent compared to January.
It's tough to make month to month comparisons. January isn't February, after all. Still, CREA chooses to ac-cen-tu-ate the positive. It was the first month over month increase since September and comes after a 3-per-cent decrease in January.We'll take it.
In Montreal, CREA reports a 2.2 per cent increase in single-family home prices, about the same as what the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board reported a little earlier. The two real-estate bodies define the Montreal metropolitan area differently, which tends to result in slightly different statistics.
The national average sale price was $281,792 in February, down from $310,379 a year earlier. In Quebec, the average sale price was $207.927 versus $204,661. CREA did not offer a Montreal breakdown.
Agents on the ground are noticing a steady stream of first-time buyers, drawn in by rock-bottom mortgage rates. At my open house on Sunday (an NDG duplex) there were plenty of young couples, but also a fair smattering of retirees. Plenty of tire kicking and price comparing. Looks like people are taking their time and weighing their options.