After a flat March, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM rose 0.2% in April. In the 20-year history of the index it was the fourth-smallest April advance, after those of 2009 (a recession year), 2013 and 2015. There were nevertheless gains in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed: Quebec City (1.5%), Hamilton (0.8%), Halifax (0.6%), Vancouver (0.3%), Edmonton (0.3%), Toronto (0.2%), Montreal (0.2%) and Victoria (0.2%). The index for Calgary was flat. Indexes for the remaining two markets were down on the month, Ottawa-Gatineau −0.1% and Winnipeg −0.8%.
It was the 14th rise in 16 months for the Vancouver index, which has set records in each of the last five months. However, its recent gains have been smaller than before, which is consistent with the loosening of market conditions apparent from data published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The cooling of the Vancouver index advances has been the most obvious for dwellings other than condos. The Toronto index is down 7.1% from its peak of last July, its decline concentrated in dwellings other than condos. The raw index* for Toronto declined similarly over that period, both for the market as a whole and for the non-condo segment. The index for neighbouring Hamilton market is down 5.2% from August, with declines in six of the last eight months. The index for Ottawa-Gatineau has declined in six of the last seven months, for a cumulative retreat of 2.4% since September. For Calgary it was a fifth consecutive month without a gain. The index for Edmonton has retreated in five of the last seven months. In sum, the composite index in April was down 1.6% from its peak of last August, although it stabilized towards the end of last year.
Thanks to strong advances from April to August last year, the composite index was nevertheless still up 5.6% from a year earlier. It was the smallest 12-month rise since September 2015 and a 10th consecutive deceleration from last June’s record 12-month gain of 14.2%. The April 12-month rise was led by Vancouver (15.9%) and Victoria (11.0%), the only markets with 12-month advances exceeding the countrywide average. They were followed by Halifax (5.3%), Hamilton (4.5%), Montreal (3.9%), Ottawa-Gatineau (3.0%), Quebec City (2.4%), Toronto (1.9%), Winnipeg (1.2%), Edmonton (0.4%) and Calgary (0.2%).
In addition to the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the composite index, indexes exist for the seven other metropolitan areas of the Golden Horseshoe. In April, six of the seven (Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Barrie and Oshawa), like Toronto and Hamilton, were well below their various peaks of July, August or September 2017. The exception was Peterborough. Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for seven markets outside the Golden Horseshoe, five of them in Ontario and two in B.C. The indexes for these last two, Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna, like those for Vancouver and Victoria, were at record highs in April. The same was true of the indexes for Windsor and Thunder Bay. The indexes for Sudbury, Kingston and London were only slightly off peak.
The historical data of the Teranet–National Bank House Price Indices™ are available at www.housepriceindex.ca.
The Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ is estimated from sale prices recorded in 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 11 metropolitan areas: Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax. The national composite index is the weighted average of the 11 metropolitan areas. The weights are based on aggregate value of dwellings as retrieved from the 2006 Statistics Canada Census. According to that census**, the aggregate value of occupied dwellings in the metropolitan areas covered by the indices was $1.416 trillion, or 64% 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.
*Note on methodology: The current-month data used to calculate the index are those of closed sales registered in the provincial land registry. To illustrate the home price trend, the published indexes of the 11 metropolitan markets entering into the Teranet–National Bank Composite House Price Index™ are moving averages of the last three months of raw indexes, a procedure that evens out month-to-month fluctuations. More granular monthly data are available upon request, subject to subscription fees. For our full methodology, please visit www.housepriceindex.ca
** Value of Dwelling for the Owner-occupied Non-farm, Non-reserve Private Dwellings of Canada
Economy & Strategy Team
National Bank Financial Group
Teranet–National Bank House Price Index™ thanks the author for his special collaboration on this report.