OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices fell again in November, the third straight monthly decline and the largest November drop outside of a recession, as Toronto prices fell for the fourth month and Vancouver prices were flat, data showed on Wednesday.
The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed national prices declined 0.5 percent in November from the month before as four of the 11 cities surveyed weakened.
The index was up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, a fourth straight deceleration from record gains seen earlier in the year, as government measures to rein in the housing market continued to dampen demand.
In Toronto, prices fell 1.4 percent on the month. Prices have retreated since the Ontario government levied a foreign buyers tax in April in a bid to cool the market and douse speculation in Toronto and the surrounding area.
Teranet said there were some signs buyers may have increased activity in November in an attempt to complete purchases before new mortgage stress tests are required in January. It also said Toronto’s condo market appears to have regained some strength even as the more expensive detached market remains weak.
In Vancouver, where the British Columbia government implemented its own tax on foreign buyers more than a year ago, prices were flat after six consecutive months of record highs, Teranet said. Vancouver’s condo subindex has shown the most strength, notching 10 consecutive monthly gains for a total rise of 19.0 percent.
Although Vancouver initially slowed after the tax was imposed in August 2016, prices have since regained ground and some economists think the slowdown in Toronto will be similarly short lived.
The Montreal and Halifax indexes were also at record highs, the report showed.
Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by James Dalgleish