Prairies continue to lag national house price gains

by Steve Randall21 Jan 2020

A leading indicator of home prices gained in Canada ahead of expected momentum for price appreciation in 2020.

The Teranet-National National Composite House Price Index rose to 228.44, a 0.2% monthly gain and a 1.95% increase compared to a year earlier.

The monthly gain has only been equalled or bettered three times in the past 13 years and is a good showing at a time of year when resale activity is typically low. Decembers over the past 11 years have seen an average increase of 0.1%.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the December index rose 0.7% and marks a strong turnaround from the first half of 2019 with index gains for Toronto (255.82), Hamilton (247.95), and more recently Vancouver (273.81), Victoria (211.15), and Quebec City (185.01). Ottawa-Gatineau (173.46), Montreal (186.25), and Halifax (158.41) performed well throughout the year.

However, the national picture belies faltering prices in the Prairies with price declines in December for Calgary (−0.6% to 176.60), Edmonton (−0.2% to 174.84) and Winnipeg (−0.1% to 210.28). These areas were weak across the second half of 2019.

These Prairies markets remain favourable for buyers of resale homes in 2020 while Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces favour sellers, and BC is largely balanced.

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

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