Toronto Housing Prolongs Surge While Vancouver Fall Extends

Toronto’s housing market is producing new records as Vancouver’s fall deepens.

According to a recent reading of the Teranet-National Bank home price index on Thursday, Toronto prices rose in December at a rising pace of 19.7 percent from a year earlier.

Vancouver prices also surged from a year ago, by a strong 17 percent; however, the story behind such is in its monthly performance.

Prices in Vancouver have fallen as sales slumped, especially in the emergence of a new provincial tax on foreign buyers of Vancouver area homes.

From November to December, prices fell 0.8 percent, making it the third straight drop for a total 2.8 percent.

Prices rose 1.2 percent from November in Toronto, making it the 11th consecutive increase.

“National house price inflation has shed some momentum in recent months as Vancouver continues to deflate,” said Marc Pinsonneault of National Bank.

“Canada’s priciest city experienced its third consecutive monthly decline, and more is in store,” he added.

“The price drop so far far was mostly concentrated in dwellings other condos. This is consistent with house sales declines (since their February peak) mostly concentrated in detached dwellings.”

Below is the cross country listings for others on a monthly basis:

Victoria, up 1.2 percent

Quebec City and Calgary each up 0.6 percent

Hamilton and Halifax each up 0.4 percent

Ottawa-Gatineau 0.3 percent

Edmonton 0.1 percent

Prices fell in both Montreal and Winnipeg, with the first 0.5 percent and the latter, 1.2 percent.

The annual reading is as follows:

Prices mounted 17.7 per cent in Victoria

A record 17.5 per cent in Hamilton

3.6 percent in Ottawa-Gatineau

3.4 percent in Winnipeg

1.5 percent in Halifax

0.8 percent in Montreal

0.6 percent in Cagary and just 0.1 percent in Edmonton.

Prices in Quebec City slumped 0.7 percent.

Other economists including Mr. Pinsonneault are of the opinion that Toronto is set for a cooling period with the implementation of a new federal tax and mortgage rules. Generally, economists predict that price growth will slow, instead of an outright reduction.

“We have yet to see it, but sooner or later low affordability and the new rules regarding the qualification for an insured mortgage will take some steam out of demand and prices,” Mr. Pinsonneault said.

“In the meantime, Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria are the three metropolitan regions pulling up the composite index growth month after month. Apart from Vancouver and these three regions, house prices have been flat over the last six months.”

Nationwide, prices increased 12.3 percent in December from a year ago, and 0.3 percent from November.


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