Canadian home prices rise in January, driven by Toronto: Teranet

Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:15am EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in January as values in the hot Toronto market climbed even further, while Vancouver prices picked up after three months of declines, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Tuesday.

The index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed that prices rose 0.5 percent month to month and 13.0 percent from a year ago.

It was the 12th consecutive month that national home prices have risen and the largest annual increase since January 2007.

The monthly gain was driven by an 0.8 percent increase in Toronto, which had its 12th straight monthly increase, and a 1.1 percent rise in nearby Hamilton, where prices have climbed as home buyers were shut out of the expensive Toronto market.

Toronto and Hamilton racked up record annual increases of 20.9 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.

Canada's housing market has been robust since the global financial crisis, boosted by low borrowing rates. The government tightened mortgage lending rules late last year to rein in consumer borrowing, a move that is expected to cool housing activity this year.

But recent data has suggested the housing market was off to a strong start in 2017. Indeed, the rise in the Teranet index signaled that prices have doubled since June 2005.

Prices in Vancouver rose 0.3 percent on the month, suggesting the once-hot market could be perking back up. The provincial government imposed a tax on foreign home buyers in the city last year to address affordability issues, which took some steam out of the market.

Prices in Vancouver were up 16.4 percent from a year earlier, but 2.5 percent below the peak reached in September 2016, Teranet said.   Continued...

 
 
A builder works on the the roof of a new home under construction in the Montreal suburb of Brossard, August 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Shaun Best