What is this February Bump?
When compiling my monthly charts highlighting trends in the Toronto real estate market (here is December 2016), I always notice the climb from January to February in the last 6 years, which was particularly steep in 2016:
From December 2015 to December 2016, the average house price went up by $209K. Nearly 3/4 of that ($152K) happened in that steep January to February climb I just noted. Here is a look at the last 6 years, which correspond to the chart above.
You can see the average increase was 10.1%. The median is 9.7%. When you've got average house prices of over $1 million, 10% is a big deal ($100,000). So I looked back over the last 20 years to see how long this pattern has persisted.
How long has this been going on?
From the numbers above, you can see each of the last 20 years has had a month-over-month increase in prices from January to February. In fact, you have to go back 21 years to 1996 to find a price drop from January to February. Back in 1996 there was a whopping $2K decline from $244K to $242K (-0.9%). The lowest February bump in the last 20 years has been $17K, and you have to go back 12 years to have one less than $37K.