Saskatoon Mortgage Broker shares article – Regina real estate market shows signs of life in February

By Bruce Johnstone – March 15, 2016


February saw an uptick in sales and average selling prices for the first time in months, according to the Association of Regina Realtors.

There were 210 sales reported last month in the Regina area, up eight per cent from February 2015 when 195 sales were reported. While the number of sales in February was below the five-year average of 232 and the 10-year average of 239, year-to-date sales of 355 are up slightly from 353 last year.

Another bit of good news for the resale market was the slight increase in the home price index (HPI) in February. The HPI, which measures residential price trends based on four benchmark home types, is considered a more accurate measure of housing price trends than average or median price.

The HPI reported a composite residential price of $281,700, up slightly from $281,400 in February 2015.

Other hopeful signs in February were: average sales price was $308,946, an increase of one per cent from $306,254 in 2015, while the year-to-date average price was $309,067, up two per cent from $302,426 in 2015. Sales volume of $64.9 million increased nine per cent from $59.7 million in February last year.

“There were some encouraging signs in February, with sales being up over 2015 and prices beginning to level out after many months of decline,” said Gord Archibald, CEO of the association. “As we begin the approach the busy spring period of the year, we should see a noticeable ramp up in market activity,” Archibald added.

In fact, year-over-year price growth climbed out of negative territory in Regina for the first time in close to three years in February, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Nationally, CREA raised its outlook for home sales this year, as the Vancouver and Toronto markets continued to charge ahead of expectations in contrast to other cities.

CREA said Tuesday it had expected the market to cool this year, with smaller price gains in B.C. and Ontario. “However, many of the defining themes among Canadian housing markets last year have persisted, and in some cases intensified, in early 2016,” CREA said in its updated forecast.

CREA said it now expects sales this year to grow by 1.0 per cent compared with earlier expectations of a 1.1 per cent contraction.

“Canadian resale housing market trends this year are expected to resemble those apparent in 2015, with very tight supply leading to strong price gains in British Columbia and Ontario — particularly in the Lower Mainland (of B.C.) and in and around the Greater Toronto Area,” the forecast said.

“Price gains in these regions are expected to continue to stand in sharp contrast to moderate price declines among housing markets whose prospects are closely tied to oil and other natural resource prices.”

B.C. and Ontario are expected to drive the national average price up eight per cent to $478,100 in 2016, according to the forecast. Vancouver and Toronto also helped pump up the national average price for a home sold in February to $503,057. Excluding those two markets, the average price was $355,235, up 8.7 per cent.

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