Canadian home prices in May were up 13.6% from a year earlier, according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index. The 12-month gain was strongly influenced by Vancouver, up 17.1%, and Toronto, up 16.0%. In the other four markets surveyed, the 12-month rise ranged from 5.6% in Halifax to 11.4% in Ottawa. In Calgary it was 7.8% and in Montreal 8.5%.
May was the second consecutive month in which prices were up from the month before in all six metropolitan areas surveyed. The monthly rise of the composite index, 1.3%, was the largest since last September. The monthly rise was 2.3% in Ottawa, 1.8% in Montreal (the largest gain in this market since June 2007), 1.2% in Vancouver and Calgary, 1.1% in Toronto and 0.7% in Halifax.
Teranet – National Bank National Composite House Price Index™
Since market conditions have been loosening across Canada - from April to June of this year, the number of existing homes sold declined much faster than the number of new listings - it is too early to conclude that the relatively vigorous prices rises of April and May mark the beginning of a trend. The prospect of harmonized sales taxes coming into effect July 1 in Ontario and B.C. may have had the effect of pushing up sales in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa in the preceding months.
The Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data collected from 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 six metropolitan areas: Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. The national composite index is the weighted average of the six metropolitan areas. The weights are based on aggregate value of dwellings as retrieved from the 2006 Statistics Canada Census. According to that census1, the aggregate value of occupied dwellings in the metropolitan areas covered by the indices was $1.168 trillion, or 53% 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.
Marc Pinsonneault Senior Economist Economy & Strategy National Bank Financial Group