Canada home prices rise in April: Teranet

FILE PHOTO: Rooftops of houses in the Kitsilano neighbourhood and the downtown core are seen in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, January 7, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose slightly in April as Vancouver hit another record high, but the rate of appreciation continued to decelerate amid softening sales and higher interest rates, data showed on Monday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices increased 0.2 percent on a monthly basis after a flat month in March.

It was the fourth-smallest April gain in the 20-year history of the index, though gains were notched in eight of the 11 markets surveyed, Teranet said.

Price gains also continued to decelerate on an annual basis, up 5.6 percent from April 2017 in the smallest 12-month increase since September 2015 and the 10th consecutive monthly slowdown from last June’s record 12-month gain of 14.2 percent.

Prices in Toronto were up 0.2 percent on a monthly basis, suggesting the situation in the country’s biggest city was stabilizing after recent declines following last year’s provincial government measures to rein in the market, as well as tighter mortgage rules that took effect at the start of 2018.

The Toronto index is down 7.1 percent from its peak in July 2017, Teranet said, but up 1.9 percent year-over-year.

Vancouver prices gained 0.3 percent, the 14th rise in 16 months, taking the index to a new record. Still, recent gains have been smaller than before, consistent with slower sales, particularly outside of the condo sector.

Further softening of Canada’s once-hot housing market is expected as home buyers react to the three interest rate hikes taken by the Bank of Canada since July, but the condo market in both Toronto and Vancouver has remained robust.

Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Phil Berlowitz