Metro home prices are levelling out, index shows

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Derrick Penner

Metro Vancouver home prices tipped past their previous peak in the first quarter of this year, but their pace of growth slowed considerably, according to the unique measure of the Teranet National Bank House Price Index.

The Teranet index score for Metro Vancouver hit 152.16 in March, up 14 per cent from the same month a year ago, and above the city’s previous high of 150.65 reached in June 2008.

However, the rate of growth from February to March was just 0.61 per cent, and the index climbed just 2.12 per cent cent over the entire quarter.

“The broad slowing of monthly gains is consistent with a general loosening of resale-market conditions across the country,” Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist with National Bank Financial Group, said in a news release. “For some months now, homes have been coming on the market faster than they have selling.”

Rather than calculating average or benchmark prices from housing sales in a given month, the Teranet method examines price changes of all homes on a “repeat sales basis.” The index is calculated by aggregating the average price change for all homes sold to arrive at an index score, much like a stock index.

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