Archive for the 'Teranet-National Bank House Price Index' Category

January 14, 2019

JANUARY 14, 2018

Home prices trended down in the second half of 2018

The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM for December was down 0.3% from the previous month.[1] It was the third consecutive monthly retreat. The component indexes were down for seven of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed: Edmonton (−1.4%), Vancouver (−1.2%), Winnipeg (−0.9%), Calgary (−0.6%), Victoria (−0.4%), Hamilton (−0.4%) and Quebec City (−0.4%). Indexes were up for Ottawa-Gatineau (1.0%), Montreal (0.4%), Toronto (0.2%) and Halifax (0.1%).

The recent trend of home prices is clearly downward in most metropolitan markets. For Calgary December was a sixth straight month without an index rise, a cumulative decline of 2.0%; for Vancouver a fifth straight month and a cumulative loss of 2.9%; for Edmonton a fourth straight month and a cumulative loss of 2.7%. For Victoria, Winnipeg and Hamilton it was a third straight month, with cumulative losses of 0.5%, 1.6% and 1.0% respectively. The Halifax index was down 1.6% from five months ago, Quebec City and Toronto were down −0.8% and −0.2% respectively from four months ago. Only the Ottawa-Gatineau and Montreal indexes finished 2018 in strength, rising 7.9% and 4.8% respectively from March to December and both ending the year at all-time highs.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

 

 

 

The weakness of most of the country’s large urban markets in the second half of the year meant, as table below shows, that the index was down of flat for five markets for calendar 2018Calgary (−2.6%), Edmonton (−0.9%), Winnipeg (−0.5%), Quebec City (−0.1%) and Halifax (flat). For a calendar year, it was the narrowest diffusion of 12-month gains since the recession year of 2008. Up from a year earlier despite second-half retreats were Victoria (6.0%), Hamilton (4.4%), Toronto (3.7%) and Vancouver (1.4%). As expected, Ottawa-Gatineau (5.9%) and Montreal (4.4%) were among the leaders. The 12-month advance of the composite index, at 2.5%, was the smallest since 2009.

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. From August to December, indexes were down for Brantford (−4.0%), Oshawa (−2.1%), Barrie (−2.1%), Guelph (−1.1%) and Kitchener (−0.3%). From September to December, the Peterborough index fell 5.1%. Only the St. Catharines index with its 12-month gain of 8.6% ended the year at a record.

Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. From August to December, indexes were down for Thunder Bay (−5.3%), Abbotsford-Mission (−1.7%) and Sudbury (−1.2%), and from September to December the index for Kelowna was down 2.0%. Three of these indexes did not display weakness in 2018, finishing the year with strong 12-month gains: Windsor (14.7%), London (10.7%) and Kingston (9.9%).

For the full report including historical data, please visit www.housepriceindex.ca.

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DECEMBER 12, 2018

Home price indexes down in November in all markets except Quebec City, Halifax and Victoria

In November the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was down 0.3% from the previous month.[1] A November decline is not the norm – this was only the fourth in 20 years of index history. It was the second consecutive monthly decline. November’s retreat was quite broad-based: component indexes were down on the month in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed – Vancouver (−0.6%), Calgary (−0.6%), Edmonton (−0.6%), Winnipeg (−0.5%), Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.4%), Toronto (−0.1%), Hamilton (−0.1%) and Montreal (−0.1%). The index for Victoria was flat. Indexes were up for Halifax (0.1%) and Quebec City (1.2%). The decline of the Montreal index, the first in eight months, was hardly enough to end its upward trend over those months – a cumulative rise of 4.4%, consistent with seller’s-market conditions. Market conditions are quite different in Calgary, where the index has now declined four months in a row, for a cumulative loss of 1.4%. The index for Toronto has retreated 0.4% over the last three months.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

In November the composite index was up 3.1% from a year earlier, a larger 12-month rise than in the last three months thanks to an abrupt index decline from August to October of 2017. As a result of gains earlier this year, November 12‑month rises were above the countrywide average in Victoria (5.3%), Ottawa-Gatineau (5.3%), Montreal (4.4%), Hamilton (4.4%), Vancouver (3.9%) and Toronto (3.3%). Indexes were also up from a year earlier in Winnipeg (2.3%) and Halifax (1.7%). Indexes were down from a year earlier in Quebec City (−0.3%), Edmonton (−0.4%) and Calgary (−2.7%).

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In November, most of these were down or at best flat from the previous monthBrantford (−0.8%), Guelph (−0.6%), Oshawa (−0.6%), Peterborough (−0.3%), Barrie (flat) and St. Catharines (flat). The exception was Kitchener (+0.6%). Two of these indexes, Barrie and Oshawa, were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. All were up from a year earlier, the gains ranging 1.3% for Oshawa to 8.9% for Peterborough.

Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. In November five of them were down from the previous month: Sudbury (−1.6%), Abbotsford-Mission (−0.5%), London (−0.3%), Kelowna (−0.1%) and Thunder Bay (−0.1%). Two of them were upWindsor (+0.6%) and Kingston (+0.6%). The changes of these indexes from a year earlier ranged from −3.0% for Thunder Bay to +12.8 % for Windsor.

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca.

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NOVEMBER 15, 2018

Home price index down in October in all component markets except Montreal

In October the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was down 0.4% from the previous month.[1] An October decline is not the norm – this was only the fourth in 20 years of index history. It was also the first index decline in eight months. The most striking aspect of the retreat is its diffusion. For the first time since December 2014, the component indexes for 10 of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed were down on the month – Victoria (−0.1%), Toronto (−0.2%), Winnipeg (−0.2%), Calgary (−0.3%), Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.4%), Hamilton (−0.5%), Edmonton (−0.7%), Vancouver (−0.8%), Quebec City (−1.0%) and Halifax (−1.0%). The exception was Montreal, whose seventh consecutive monthly gain (+0.2%) was consistent with its seller’s-market conditions. For Calgary it was the 10th month without a rise in the last 13 months, hardly surprising considering the worsening of market conditions over the period. For Vancouver it was the third consecutive month without a rise.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

In October the composite index was up 2.8% from a year earlier, a larger 12-month rise than in August and September because a year earlier the index fell abruptly in those two months. October 12-month rises were well above the countrywide average in Victoria (5.2%) and Vancouver (4.6%) thanks to gains earlier this year and in Montreal (5.0%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (5.0%) thanks to gains in the last six months. Indexes were also up from a year earlier in Winnipeg (3.4%), Hamilton (2.8%), Halifax (2.4%) and Toronto (1.9%). Indexes were down from a year earlier in Edmonton (−0.5%), Quebec City (−0.6%) and Calgary (−1.4%).

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for sevenother urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In October, all of these were down from the previous month. Two of them, Barrie and Oshawa, were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. In October. Three of these were down from the previous month. The 12-month rise of these indexes varied widely, from -0.1% in Thunder Bay to 11.4% in Windsor.

Of the 25 metropolitan-market indexes, only five did not decrease in October, the smallest diffusion of gains since December 2012.

For the full report including historical data, please visit www.housepriceindex.ca.

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October 12, 2018

OCTOBER 12, 2018

National Composite Index: Flat in September

In September the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM came in flat from the month before,1 matching the historical average for September since 2010. Only five of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed showed gains, the weakest diffusion in six months. These were Winnipeg (1.1%), Montreal (0.5%), Victoria (0.5%), Hamilton (0.2%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (0.1%). For Hamilton and Montreal, it was the sixth consecutive monthly rise, for cumulative gains of 5.8% and 4.3% respectively. For Ottawa-Gatineau it was the fifth straight rise for a cumulative gain of 7.8%. Of course, these gains incorporate usual upward price pressure from April to August. For Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau, the rising trend still persists even with correction of these seasonal effects.

The indexes for Vancouver and Edmonton came in flat on the month. For Edmonton it was a sixth straight month without a decline, for a cumulative gain of 3.4% over the period. Indexes were down on the month for Toronto (−0.1%), Calgary (−0.1%), Halifax (−0.2%) and Quebec City (−0.6%). If the Vancouver index were corrected for seasonal variation, it would have shown retreats in each of the last four months. If the Calgary index were so corrected it would have shown retreats in each of the last three months. This observation is consistent with declines in home sales reported by the real estate boards of these two markets.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

In September the composite index was up 2.1% from a year earlier, a larger 12-month rise than in August because the composite index began declining in September 2017. Thanks to advances earlier this year, the 12-month rise was well above the countrywide average in Vancouver (6.2%), Victoria (5.5%) and Halifax (4.8%), while very recent advances resulted in relatively large 12-month gains in Ottawa-Gatineau (5.1%) and Montréal (4.8%). Gains over a year earlier were smaller in Winnipeg (2.8%), Hamilton (1.4%) and Quebec City (0.7%). Three indexes were down from a year earlier: Edmonton (−0.5%), Toronto (−0.8%) and Calgary (−1.3%).

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other metropolitan areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In July, two of these, Barrie and Oshawa, were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The 12-month rise of these indexes varied widely, from 0.9% in Sudbury to 11.3% in Abbotsford-Mission and Windsor.

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca

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September 12, 2018

In August the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.2% from the previous month.[1] Removing normal seasonal patterns (seasonal adjustment), the index would have been virtually flat, following retreats in June and July. In other words, after seasonal adjustment, the downtrend of June and July did not turn around in August.

Individual market indexes were up in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed. Seasonally adjusted, they would have been up in only four. The published (non-seasonally-adjusted) indexes were up strongly under any respect in Ottawa-Gatineau (1.4%), Hamilton (1.4%), Montreal (1.2%) and Quebec City (0.5%). However, gains in Toronto (0.3%), Edmonton (0.2%), Victoria (0.1%) and Winnipeg (0.1%) only reflected usual seasonal pressures. After seasonal adjustment, these indexes would have dropped or be flat. Indexes were down for Halifax (−0.6%), Calgary (−0.3%) and Vancouver (−0.4%).

The published Toronto index was up for a fifth straight month. But it is the opposite after seasonal adjustment as the index would then have been down for a fifth straight month. For Vancouver and Victoria it was a third straight month of decline after seasonal adjustment.

In August the composite index was up 1.4% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since November 2009. This weakness is partly attributable to a peak in August 2017 from which the index declined in following months. For this reason the 12-month rise is likely to accelerate in the months ahead. August 2018 indexes were down from a year earlier in Toronto (−3.3%), Hamilton (−0.7%), Calgary (−0.5%) and Edmonton (−0.3%). They were up from a year earlier in Winnipeg (1.3%), Quebec City (1.4%), Halifax (4.6%), Montreal (4.8%), Victoria (5.0%), Ottawa-Gatineau (5.2%) and Vancouver (7.6%).

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In July, two of these, Barrie and Oshawa, were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The 12-month rise of these indexes varied widely, from 1.5% for Sudbury to 14.3% for Abbotsford-Mission.

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca

 

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In July the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.8% from the previous month.[1] As in June, the gain might seem large but was below the historical average for the month (1.0% for July). If the index were purged from seasonal variations, the so-called “seasonally adjusted” index would have retreated in June and would have been flat in July.

As in May and June, prices were up in 10 of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, led by Ottawa-Gatineau (2.3%), Winnipeg (1.9%), Montreal (1.3%), Halifax (1.2%) and Hamilton (1.1%). For Toronto the index rise matched the countrywide average of 0.8%. The index was also up for Edmonton (0.7%), Quebec City (0.6%), Vancouver (0.4%) and Victoria (0.4%). The index for Calgary was flat.

The published (non-seasonally-adjusted) Toronto index rose for a fourth straight month in July. In contrast, the seasonally adjusted index would have declined for a fourth straight month. This means that the recent monthly rises in the published index reflected only seasonal pressures instead of an underlying trend. The retreat of the seasonally adjusted index over this period was due to non-condo housing[2] (−2.1%); the seasonally adjusted condo subindex was up 1.6%. These numbers are consistent with market conditions, tighter for condos than for other housing. The monthly rise of the Vancouver and Victoria indexes has slowed markedly since last September. Seasonally adjusted, both indexes would have been down in July for a second consecutive month. The index for Montreal stands out for its advance in 17 of the 19 months since January 2017, a showing equalled only by Vancouver.

 Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

In July the composite index was up 1.8% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since July 2013 and a 13th consecutive deceleration from the record gain of 14.2% during the year ending June 2017. The main contributor to the slowdown was Toronto, the largest metropolitan market, down 4.0% from a year earlier, followed by Hamilton (−1.5%) and Calgary (−0.1%). There were small 12-month rises in Edmonton (0.3%) and Quebec City (0.6%) and rises exceeding the countrywide average in Winnipeg (2.5%), Montreal (4.0%), Ottawa-Gatineau (5.1%), Halifax (5.5%), Victoria (6.8%) and Vancouver (10.6%).

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In July, two of these (Barrie and Oshawa) were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their peaks of Q3 2017. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The 12-month rise of these indexes varied widely, from 2.4% for Thunder Bay to 17.6% for Abbotsford-Mission.

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca

 

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In June the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was up 0.9% from May. Though large at first glance, the increase was the third-smallest for June in the last 14 years. If we ignore the seasonal component of monthly variations, we cannot speak of a soaring index. The latest run of monthly increases is merely a recovery of ground lost in the second half of last year. The composite index is now barely above its previous peak of August 2017.

As in May, prices were up in 10 of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, led by Ottawa-Gatineau (2.0%), Hamilton (1.8%), Edmonton (1.5%), Victoria (1.3%), Toronto (1.2%) and Halifax (1.0%). The Toronto rise was the smallest since 2008 for a month of June. The Quebec City index rose apace with the countrywide average of 0.9%. Gains were smaller in Montreal (0.7%), Vancouver (0.6%) and Calgary (0.6%), and the index for Winnipeg was down 1.0% on the month. The rise in Vancouver was the fourth-smallest since 2001 for a month of June.

Over the first half of the year the Toronto index rose at an annual rate of 5.7%. For the condo segment the rate was 12.1%, for other housing only 2.9%, reflecting a tight seller’s market for condos. The Vancouver story is similar: condo segment up 17.6% annualized since last September, other dwelling types up 4.9%.

Five of the 11 markets reached a new high in June: Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Halifax and Ottawa-Gatineau. The market furthest from its previous peak was Toronto, down 4.8% from its reading of last July.

 Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

In June the composite index was up 2.9% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since October 2013 and a 12th consecutive deceleration from the record 12-month gain of 14.2% last June. The January 12-month rise was led by Vancouver (13.3%), Victoria (9.3%), Ottawa-Gatineau (4.7%), Montreal (3.6%) and Halifax (3.2%). The 12-month gain was slim in Winnipeg (1.3%), Quebec City (0.7%), Calgary (0.3%) and Edmonton (0.2%). Indexes were down from a year earlier for Hamilton (−0.4%) and Toronto (−2.8%).

In addition to the Toronto and Hamilton indexes, included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In June, three of these seven (Barrie, Kitchener and Oshawa) were, like Toronto and Hamilton, below their various peaks of July, August or September 2017. The other four (Guelph, Brantford, St. Catharines and Peterborough) reached new peaks. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The indexes for these last two, Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna were, like those for Vancouver and Victoria, at new peaks in June. The same was true of the indexes for Thunder Bay, Windsor, London and Kingston in Ontario.

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca

 

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June 13, 2018

In May the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM  was up 1.0% from the previous month. This confirms the index stabilization following the downward trend that prevailed over the second half of 2017. The last monthly gain is one tick less than the May average of 1.1% over the 20 years of index history. The monthly advance was led by the metropolitan markets of Victoria (1.8%), Ottawa-Gatineau (1.7%), Toronto (1.3%), Winnipeg (1.3%) and Vancouver (1.0%). The rise of the Toronto index matched its historical average for May. The rise of the Ottawa-Gatineau index was not enough to make up its cumulative decline over the previous four months. There were smaller monthly advances in the indexes for Edmonton (0.7%), Quebec City (0.6%), Hamilton (0.4%), Calgary (0.4%) and Montreal (0.3%). The index for Halifax was flat.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

Because of a rapid advance from May to August last year, the composite index was nevertheless up 4.5% from a year earlier. It was the smallest 12-month rise since June 2015 and an 11thconsecutive deceleration from last June’s record 12-month gain of 14.2%. The increase was led by Vancouver (15.4%) and Victoria (10.3%), the only two markets whose gains exceeded the countrywide average. The 12-month rise was 3.9% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 3.9% in Halifax, 3.6% in Montreal, 2.1% in Winnipeg, 1.9% in Quebec City, 1.8%

For the full report including historical data, please visit: www.housepriceindex.ca

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After a flat March, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM  rose 0.2% in April. In the 20-year history of the index it was the fourth-smallest April advance, after those of 2009 (a recession year), 2013 and 2015. There were nevertheless gains in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed: Quebec City (1.5%), Hamilton (0.8%), Halifax (0.6%), Vancouver (0.3%), Edmonton (0.3%), Toronto (0.2%), Montreal (0.2%) and Victoria (0.2%). The index for Calgary was flat. Indexes for the remaining two markets were down on the month, Ottawa-Gatineau −0.1% and Winnipeg −0.8%.

It was the 14th rise in 16 months for the Vancouver index, which has set records in each of the last five months. However, its recent gains have been smaller than before, which is consistent with the loosening of market conditions apparent from data published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The cooling of the Vancouver index advances has been the most obvious for dwellings other than condos. The Toronto index is down 7.1% from its peak of last July, its decline concentrated in dwellings other than condos. The raw index* for Toronto declined similarly over that period, both for the market as a whole and for the non-condo segment. The index for neighbouring Hamilton market is down 5.2% from August, with declines in six of the last eight months. The index for Ottawa-Gatineau has declined in six of the last seven months, for a cumulative retreat of 2.4% since September. For Calgary it was a fifth consecutive month without a gain. The index for Edmonton has retreated in five of the last seven months. In sum, the composite index in April was down 1.6% from its peak of last August, although it stabilized towards the end of last year.

Thanks to strong advances from April to August last year, the composite index was nevertheless still up 5.6% from a year earlier. It was the smallest 12-month rise since September 2015 and a 10th consecutive deceleration from last June’s record 12-month gain of 14.2%. The April 12-month rise was led by Vancouver (15.9%) and Victoria (11.0%), the only markets with 12-month advances exceeding the countrywide average. They were followed by Halifax (5.3%), Hamilton (4.5%), Montreal (3.9%), Ottawa-Gatineau (3.0%), Quebec City (2.4%), Toronto (1.9%), Winnipeg (1.2%), Edmonton (0.4%) and Calgary (0.2%).

In addition to the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other metropolitan areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In April, six of the seven (Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Barrie and Oshawa), like Toronto and Hamilton, were well below their various peaks of July, August or September 2017. The exception was Peterborough. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The indexes for these last two, Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna, like those for Vancouver and Victoria, were at record highs in April. The same was true of the indexes for Windsor and Thunder Bay. The indexes for Sudbury, Kingston and London were only slightly off peak.

The historical data of the Teranet–National Bank House Price Indices™ are available at www.housepriceindex.ca.

 

 

The Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ is estimated from sale prices recorded in public land registries. All dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index. This is known as the repeat sales method; a complete description of the method is given at www.housepriceindex.ca.

The Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ is an independently developed representation of average home price changes in 11 metropolitan areas: Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax. The national composite index is the weighted average of the 11 metropolitan areas. The weights are based on aggregate value of dwellings as retrieved from the 2006 Statistics Canada Census. According to that census**, the aggregate value of occupied dwellings in the metropolitan areas covered by the indices was $1.416 trillion, or 64% of the Canadian aggregate value of $2.207 trillion.

All indices have a base value of 100 in June 2005. For example, an index value of 130 means that home prices have increased 30% since June 2005.

*Note on methodology: The current-month data used to calculate the index are those of closed sales registered in the provincial land registry. To illustrate the home price trend, the published indexes of the 11 metropolitan markets entering into the Teranet–National Bank Composite House Price Index™ are moving averages of the last three months of raw indexes, a procedure that evens out month-to-month fluctuations. More granular monthly data are available upon request, subject to subscription fees. For our full methodology, please visit www.housepriceindex.ca

** Value of Dwelling for the Owner-occupied Non-farm, Non-reserve Private Dwellings of Canada

By:

Marc Pinsonneault

Senior Economist

Economy & Strategy Team

National Bank Financial Group

Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ thanks the author for his special collaboration on this report.

 

 

 

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House prices stayed flat in March of 2018, according to data from the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index™.

This past month was the first time outside of a recession that the March composite index wasn’t up at least 0.2 percentage points from February and the first time outside of a recession when March indexes were only up for four of the 11 metropolitan markets.

The Toronto region was flat, and six other markets were down for the month.

Vancouver’s house price index increased — its 13th month-over-month increase in the past 15 months, taking prices to a new high. In comparison, the Toronto market was flat in March and over the past 15 months has gone down 7.3 per cent from its house price peak in July of 2017. In Toronto, however, its condo segment has remained unchanged since July.

The increase in Vancouver was the main reason the house price index stayed flat in March and didn’t decline overall.

“Without Vancouver, the composite index would have declined in March, and in five of the six preceding months,” National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault said in a research note.

Vancouver’s index is expected to see more increases over the coming months. The average Vancouver region sale price was a record $906,896 in March.

Outside of Vancouver and Toronto, other markets continue to vary. Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Victoria all showed increases in March, but Montreal, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau, Halifax, and Edmonton were all down. In Ontario, Barrie, Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Oshawa, and Sudbury all showed declines from last July.

Hamilton has particularly declined, dropping 5.9% cumulatively since August of 2017.

The March 2018 house price index was notable for two other reasons: it’s the smallest 12-month rise since May of 2016, and it’s the ninth consecutive deceleration from the record 14.2% of last June.

According to Pinsonneault, the flat reading in March reflects that both the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have begun to flatten out.

“The decline was the most obvious in Toronto,” he wrote. “This drop was likely triggered by Ontario’s implementation of the 15 per cent [foreign buyer tax] followed by stricter rules for qualification for a mortgage and a rise in mortgage rates.”

Pinsonneault wrote that we could see national home prices remaining relatively even in the coming months.

A TD Bank commentary on the March house price index noted that mortgage rates have recently fallen, making the overall cost of ownership less expensive for buyers.

TD Economics analyst, Sonny Scarfone, provided further analysis to the Canadian Press.

“Markets experiencing a decline in home prices are facing a rising inventory of homes for sale on the market, following what appears to have been a number of years of over building,” Scarfone wrote.

“Meanwhile, home price pressures remain the strongest in cities facing tighter conditions — as a low number of homes for sale on the market has put the bargaining power in the hands of the seller. This is particularly true in Calgary and the single-family home market in Toronto. However, these cities also have a record number of new homes currently under construction, which should help alleviate some supply pressures in the coming months.”

See the full March 2018 House Price Index report at https://housepriceindex.ca/#maps=c11.

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