Both the overall number and the average selling price of Canadian homes crept higher last month, says the agency that represents real estate agents.
The average price of a home sold in Canada hit $372,763 in February — two per cent higher than a the same month a year earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday.
The number of homes sold was 1.4 per cent higher during the month than it was in January. Activity was up in more than half of all local markets, led by Calgary, Toronto, Barrie, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, and Halifax-Dartmouth, CREA said.
A total of 61,772 homes traded hands in the first two months of 2012, an increase of 6.7 per cent over the same period in 2011.
"The national rise in both sales activity and the number of newly listed homes beyond the normal seasonal increase provides clear evidence that Canadians are confident in housing market prospects," CREA president Gary Morse said.
Although still increasing, home prices have softened in recent months. The average yearly price rise was in double digits through much of 2011.
CREA warned last year that a red-hot Vancouver market was skewing the overall numbers higher, but that's no longer the case.
"[Many] factors are now keeping the national average price aloft," Morse said. "The main one is the housing market in Toronto, where a tight balance between supply and demand continues to drive some of the strongest home price gains in the country, particularly for single detached properties."There has been a preference in recent months, in Toronto and other markets, for single-family homes which are typically more expensive, CREA said.