Canadian house prices fall 0.4 percent in November from October: Teranet

Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:31am EST
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By Andrea Hopkins

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices dipped in November from October while year-over-year price gains slowed for the 12th straight month as Canada's housing market continued to cool, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Wednesday.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices fell 0.4 percent in November from a month earlier, the third consecutive monthly decline.

"For the first time since February 2009, when the recession was in full swing, prices were down from the month before in 10 of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed," with Calgary the only city to escape a drop, Teranet noted in its report.

The index was up 3.3 percent from a year earlier, the 12th consecutive month of deceleration in 12-month inflation.

The report is the latest in a string of data suggesting that an extended Canadian upswing in house sales and prices has come to an end, but activity varies widely by region.

Canada's housing market avoided a meltdown in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009, helped by the country's conservative lending standards. Ultra-low interest rates then helped fuel a post-crisis boom.

Canadian housing is now swooning just as the U.S. market is showing some signs of a long-awaited recovery.

Canada's Conservative government tightened mortgage lending rules to make it harder for homebuyers to take on too much debt in a bid to slow the nation's red-hot housing market. The changes, which took effect in July, were the fourth such move in four years.   Continued...

A sold sign is displayed in front of a home in Toronto December 15, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Cassese