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Index growth slows further in January

February 18, 2021 • House Price Index

February 18, 2021 

In January the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.3% from the previous month. It was the third consecutive month in which the index rose less than the month before. The increase was led by five of the 11 constituent markets: Hamilton (2.0%), Montreal (1.0%), Victoria (0.6%), Halifax (0.4%) and Vancouver (0.4%). Rises of less than the countrywide average were reported for Quebec City (0.3%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (0.1%). Indexes were down from the month before in Toronto (−0.1%), Calgary (−0.2%), Edmonton (−0.4%) and Winnipeg (−0.4%). After three months – September, October, November – in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before, it was a second consecutive month in which one or more markets were down on the month.

The price rise is consistent with the rise of home sales volume over the last several months as reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association. For a fifth straight month, the number of sale pairs entering into the 11 metropolitan indexes was higher than a year earlier. The unsmoothed composite index, seasonally adjusted, was up 0.9% in January, suggesting that the published (smoothed) index could continue its uptrend.

The January composite index was up 9.6% from a year earlier. This was a sixth consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since October 2017. It was led by five markets – Ottawa-Gatineau (19.6%), Halifax (16.9%), Hamilton (16.5%), Montreal (15.8%) and Toronto (10.0%). Lagging the countrywide average were Victoria (9.1%), Vancouver (7.3%), Quebec City (6.3%), Winnipeg (6.0%) and Edmonton (0.8%). Calgary was down 0.5% from a year earlier.

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the countrywide composite, indexes exist for seven smaller urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe – Barrie, Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Oshawa and Peterborough. In January all seven were up from the previous month and from a year earlier. The 12-month gains ranged from 13.6% for Peterborough to 21.2% for Brantford.

Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for 11 markets outside the Golden Horseshoe. Five of them are in provinces other than Ontario: Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna, B.C.; Lethbridge, Albertaand Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, Quebec. The January indexes for four of the five were up from the previous month, with gains ranging from 0.1% for Trois-Rivières to 1.9% for Abbotsford-Mission. The index for Lethbridge edged down 0.1%. All five were up from a year earlier, with gains ranging from 1.3% for Lethbridge to 13.8% for Abbotsford-Mission.

As for the six markets in Ontario outside the Golden Horseshoe – London, Kingston, Belleville, Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sudbury – their indexes were up from the previous month for all except Thunder Bay (−2.0%). The 12-month changes ranged from +7.6% for Thunder Bay to +22.0% for Belleville.

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