Prices highest in Vancouver

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Rest of Canada trails on year-over-year basis


Vancouver house prices led Canada in May with a 17.1-per-cent year-over-year increase, according to the Teranet-National Bank composite house-price index, released Wednesday.

Year-over-year national prices rose 13.6 per cent and are now 4.2-per-cent higher than their pre-recession peak, the house-price index found.

Year-over-year advances in Toronto were 16 per cent in May, the survey found.

In other markets surveyed, year-over-year prices gained 7.8 per cent in Calgary, 8.5 per cent in Montreal, 11.4 per cent in Ottawa, and 5.6 per cent in Halifax.

On a month-over-month basis, Canadian home prices rose 1.3 per cent in May, their largest monthly gain since last September, but are unlikely to keep up the pace in months ahead, the house-price index found.

Prices have now advanced for 13 straight months, the survey showed.

National Bank senior economist Marc Pinsonneaul said “we do not believe that acceleration . . . will be sustained. The number of existing homes sold has declined in each of the three months ending last June, and it did so to a much larger extent than the number of new listings.

“This heralds a deceleration in home-price inflation, especially since a harmonized sales tax was introduced on July 1 in Ontario and B.C.”

The Teranet survey differs from other national surveys, which have already shown price declines, by focusing solely on price variations in Canada’s six major urban markets and filtering out such factors as a shift in preference to larger homes that can skew average prices.

Between April and May, Ottawa led the nation with a 2.3-per-cent price increase, followed by Montreal with 1.8 per cent, Vancouver and Calgary with 1.2 per cent each, Toronto with 1.1 per cent and Halifax with 0.7 per cent.

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