Data released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show a second consecutive dip in home sales across much of the country. Rising mortgage rates and tighter mortgage qualification rules have hit first-time homebuyers particularly hard, and activity was pulled-forward late last year in advance of the new OSFI rules.
Existing home sales dropped 6.5% nationally in February, deepening the decline that began in January. February's sales figure posted the lowest monthly reading in nearly five years. Home purchases over the first two months of this year plunged 19.4%. Sales fell in almost three-quarters of all local markets, with out-sized declines in and around Greater Vancouver (GVA) and Greater Toronto (GTA).
On a year-over-year (y/y)