If national real estate prices are to begin to decline or stabilize this year, it’s not going to be happening in the first few months of the year.

Following a two per cent gain in prices in January, the average sale price in February again rose two per cent to reach $372,763, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

National sales and listings also increased in February, leaving the national sales-to-listings ratio essentially unmoved at 53.6 per cent, which CREA said was a balanced mark.

Buyers don’t seem to be showing any concern about an overheated market thus far. February sales were up 8.6 per cent from a year earlier, according to the CREA.

“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,” said Gary Morse, CREA’s president.

While Vancouver was behind many of the gains last year, Toronto has kept the national average price moving in 2012. CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump said a tight balance between supply and demand in Toronto has pushed prices up, especially in single family homes.

While Toronto has seen its supply of high-rise condos spike, and a growing demand to match it, some of that has shifted back to the more expensive single family home option.

National prices peaked by the spring of 2011, but they appear to be approaching that market again this year. Year over-year, average prices have not declined nationally since September 2010.

Of all provinces, only British Columbia declined in price, slipping about two per cent year-over-year in February. Prince Edward Island gained the most over that period, nearly 16 per cent, followed by Manitoba at about 10 per cent and Ontario at about nine per cent.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate