House prices off peak levels in every urban market but Vancouver, Toronto

CBC News Posted: May 13, 2015 3:10 PM ET| Last Updated: May 13, 2015 4:08 PM ET

House prices are down from their peak levels in almost every city in Canada but Toronto and Vancouver, according to the latest Teranet national composite house price index.  Data for April shows the composite house price in Canada up 0.2 per cent on the month and 4.4 per cent on the year.

Small increases in markets such as Winnipeg, Quebec City and Montreal contributed to the 0.2 per cent gain on the month.  But that advance is unusually low for April, the month traditionally at the core of the hot spring home-selling season.  House prices in Toronto and Vancouver, the hottest markets, are at the highest level they’ve ever been, but they’re virtually unchanged since March, though it’s too soon to say if they’ve completed their run higher.

Over the year, Teranet shows home prices are still up 7.3 per cent in Toronto and 4.8 per cent in Vancouver, an estimate lower than the figures released by the real estate boards.  In every other market, prices are well below their peak levels.  For example, Ottawa-Gatineau home prices are down 6.1 per cent from their peak in August 2014 and 2.2 per cent from a year ago last month.  Hamilton, Ont., prices are down 0.4 per cent from their peak in December 2014 and Montreal prices are down 3.3 per cent from their peak in July 2014.

As for Calgary and Edmonton, the impact of lower oil prices and loss of jobs is playing out very differently in these markets. House prices in Calgary have fallen 1.9 per cent from October 2014, but are still up 3.3 per cent on the year.  Edmonton prices peaked in July 2007 and are still 2.6 per cent below that level, though they’ve risen 4.7 per cent on the year.

City Peak Off peak (%)

Calgary                                 Oct. 2014             -1.9

Edmonton           July 2007               -2.6

Halifax                  June 2013            -3.1

Hamilton              Dec 2014              -0.4

Montreal             July 2014              -3.3

Ottawa                  Aug. 2014            -6.1

Quebec                July 2013              -0.3

Toronto                April 2015                 0

Vancouver          April 2015                 0

Winnipeg             Sept. 2014           -0.9

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