House Price Index

NEWSLETTER - MARCH 30, 2011

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House Price Index

Monthly Report

MARCH 2011

Home prices up 0.4% in January

Canadian home prices in January were up 0.4% from the previous month, according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™. It was the second consecutive monthly rise, following on three consecutive monthly declines. January prices were up from the previous month in four of the six metropolitan markets surveyed: 0.9% in Vancouver, 0.5% in Toronto, 0.4% in Halifax and 0.3% in Montreal. Prices were down 0.6% in Ottawa, a fifth straight monthly decline, and 1.0% in Calgary, a fifth decline in six months. Thus the correction of late last year turned out to be short-lived for the country as a whole - three months - and longer-lasting in Ottawa and Calgary.

Teranet – National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

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The 12-month gain in the composite index slowed to 3.9% in January, the seventh consecutive month of deceleration. The largest 12-month rise was 8.2% in Halifax. It remains to be seen whether this lead will last, since the small number of transactions normally recorded in Halifax in December and January could make its reading less stable. The 12-month increase was 6.4% in Montreal, 5.3% in Ottawa, 5.1% in Vancouver and 3.9% in Toronto. Only in Calgary were prices down from a year earlier, by 3.4%.

Data for February from the Canadian Real Estate Association show generally balanced conditions in major urban markets. Relative to the average, conditions in Calgary were better for buyers and conditions in Vancouver better for sellers, a finding consistent with the movement of the Teranet-National Bank indices for these markets. The Toronto market is no longer tightening. Between January 17, when the federal minister of finance announced that the maximum amortization period for an insured mortgage would be reduced to 30 years from 35 years, and March 18, the announced effective date, the resale market may have been influenced by the prospect of this change.

Teranet – National Bank House Price Index™

The historical data of the Teranet – National Bank House Price Index™ is available at www.housepriceindex.ca.

Metropolitan area Index level
January 2011
% change m/m % change y/y
Calgary 152.82 -1.0 % -3.4 %
Halifax 133.09 0.4 % 8.2 %
Montreal 136.69 0.3 % 6.4 %
Ottawa 129.70 -0.6 % 5.3 %
Toronto 125.11 0.5 % 3.9 %
Vancouver 158.08 0.9 % 5.1 %
National Composite 138.03 0.4 % 3.9 %

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.

By:

Marc Pinsonneault
Senior Economist
Economy & Strategy Group
National Bank Financial Group

Teranet - National Bank House Price Index™ thanks the author for their special collaboration on this report.

1 Value of Dwelling for the Owner-occupied Non-farm, Non-reserve Private Dwellings of Canada.

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In no event shall any of NBC, Teranet, their respective affiliates, any of their or their direct or indirect information providers nor any other third party involved in, or related to, compiling, computing or creating any of the Index Information (collectively, the "Index Data Provider Parties") have any liability to any person or entity for any damages, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive, consequential (including, without limitation, loss of use, lost profits or revenues or any other economic loss) arising in any manner out of your use or inability to use any of the Index Data contained in this monthly report, even if such party might have anticipated, or was advised or notified of, the possibility of such damages.

The Teranet - National Bank House Price Index™ is an independently developed representation of the rate of change of Canadian single-family home prices.  The measurements are based on the property records of public land registries. The monthly indices cover six Canadian metropolitan areas: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. The metropolitan areas are combined to form a Canadian composite index. 

In addition to their informational role, the Teranet - National Bank House Price Index™ was developed to be trustworthy benchmark for financial professionals. Teranet and NBC offer licenses covering all index-linked products.

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