Toronto Index Stopped Trending Down in January
In January the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM rose 0.3% from the previous month, a tic higher than the historical average for January and a second consecutive monthly increase. However, only four of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed showed gains – the first time since January 2016 that a rise in the Composite Index has had so little breadth. It was due mainly to a second straight monthly jump of the index for the important Vancouver market (1.2% in January on the heels of 1.3% in December). The Toronto index rose 0.2%, the Victoria index 1.0% and the Montreal index edged up 0.1%. All the other component indexes were down on the month: Hamilton (−0.2%), Ottawa-Gatineau (‑0.2%), Edmonton (−0.3%), Calgary (−0.3%), Halifax (-1.0%), Winnipeg (−1.1%) and Quebec City (−2.0%). For Montreal, it was a 13th monthly increase, and for Hamilton it was a fifth decrease in a row.
The rise of the Toronto index was the first in six months. The raw (unsmoothed) Toronto index on which it is based was up for a third consecutive month. The firming of the smoothed index is due entirely to condo dwellings. The smoothed index for non-condo units fell in January for a sixth straight month, bringing its cumulative decline to 9.6%.
Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™
For Vancouver, January was a ninth consecutive month without a decline. The cumulative rise over that period was 14.5% – 18.2% for condo units and 11.4% for all other housing. Vancouver and Montreal were the only markets surveyed whose index reached an all-time high in January.
In January the composite index was up 8.7% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since May 2016 and a seventh consecutive deceleration from the record 12-month gains of 14.2% last June. The January 12-month rise was led by Vancouver (16.9%), Victoria (12.3%) and Hamilton (9.8%). Toronto’s rise of 8.4% from a year earlier was slightly below the countrywide average. The 12-month advance was below the countrywide average but still respectable for Ottawa-Gatineau (5.6%), Montreal (5.4%), Winnipeg (3.6%) and Halifax (2.5%). It was minimal for Calgary (0.1%) and zero for Edmonton. The Quebec City index was down 1.2% from a year earlier.
Indexes were up from a year earlier for all of 14 markets not included in the countrywide composite index, though the rise ranged widely from 2.8% in Sudbury (Ontario) to 21.4% in Abbotsford-Mission (B.C.).