MNI BRIEF:Canada Feb Home Sales -40% YOY, Prices Record -18.9%
Canada's average home price fell a record 18.9% in February from a year earlier while sales fell 40%, as the housing downturn intensified amid the central bank's 425bps of rate hikes over eight meetings that began last March.
February's annual price tumble edged out January's 18.3% decline that was previously the most in records back to 1980. The Canadian Real Estate Association's report Wednesday said sales in the month of February rose 2.3% from January and prices rose 1.7%.
The housing market boomed for almost two decades but is slipping after the Bank of Canada's tightening campaign, and remains vulnerable to financial instability linked to record consumer debt burdens. Governor Tiff Macklem has said he's likely done hiking as rate hikes cool overheated demand including housing.
Earlier today the federal housing agency reported February housing starts also rose 13%, rebounding from a similar decline in January. Officials have warned the government that its goal of doubling the pace of home construction is at risk. (See: MNI: Trudeau Told Falling Prices To Hurt Homebuilding-Briefing)