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The Strongest Index Rise for a Month of November

December 17, 2020 • House Price Index

December 17, 2020 

In November the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 0.9% from the previous month, the strongest gain for a month of November in the 22 years of the index. It was the second consecutive month to show the biggest rise in index history for the month in question. The rise was led by six metropolitan areas: Hamilton (1.9%), Halifax (1.6%), Montreal (1.4%), Ottawa-Gatineau (1.3%), Victoria (1.1%) and Vancouver (1.0%). Though lagging the countrywide average, monthly increases were highly respectable for Toronto (0.8%), Quebec City (0.7%), Winnipeg (0.6%) and Edmonton (0.4%). For Calgary the rise was a more modest 0.2%. It was the third consecutive month of rises for all 11 of the metropolitan markets surveyed.

The strong rise of prices is consistent with the revival of home sales volume over the last several months reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association. For a third 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 0.8% in November – a cooling from the rises of the previous three months, suggesting that the uptrend of the published (smoothed) index could slow in coming months.

The November composite index was up 9.0% from a year earlier, a fourth consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since February 2018. It was led by five markets – Ottawa-Gatineau (18.7%), Halifax (15.7%), Hamilton (14.7%), Montreal (14.5%) and Toronto (10.3%). Lagging the countrywide average were Vancouver (6.3%), Victoria (6.2%), Quebec City (5.9%), Winnipeg (5.3%) and Edmonton (1.0%). Calgary was down 2.3% from a year earlier.

Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the countrywide composite, indexes exist for seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe – Barrie, Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Oshawa and Peterborough. In November all seven were up from the previous month and from a year earlier. The 12-month gains ranged from 11.7% for Peterborough to 18.1% for Oshawa.

Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for 13 markets outside the Golden Horseshoe. Seven of them are in provinces other than Ontario: Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna, B.C.; Lethbridge, Alberta; Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Moncton and Saint John, N.B. The November indexes for four of these seven were up from the previous month, the exceptions being Saint John (−0.2%), Lethbridge (−0.6%) and Trois-Rivières (−0.8%). All seven were up from a year earlier, their 12-month gains ranging from 2.1% for Kelowna to 10.3% for Moncton.

As for the six markets in Ontario outside the Golden Horseshoe – London, Kingston, Belleville, Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sudbury – the November smoothed indexes were up from the previous month for all except Thunder Bay (−0.9%). The 12-month advances ranged from +8.2% for Thunder Bay to +18.9% for Windsor.

In sum, the indexes for 27 of the 31 metropolitan markets surveyed were up on the month in November. A very wide diffusion, though less than that of the three preceding months.

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