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Nation's home prices rise for third straight month

OTTAWA — Home prices in Canada rose 1.6 per cent in July, the third straight monthly increase after eight consecutive declines, according to the Teranet-National Bank house price index.

Prices rose in all of the six metropolitan areas surveyed, the first time that has happened in 13 months, the report stated.

Moreover, in three of the six areas — Halifax, Ottawa and Montreal — prices rose to levels above their pre-recession peaks

Nationally, prices were still down from a year earlier, off 5.1 per cent in July, representing the eighth consecutive 12-month decline.

Nevertheless, the recent monthly gains indicate "the market correction is behind us," said National Bank senior economist Marc Pinsonneallt.

"Furthermore, prices have more than recovered the lost ground in three regions out of six. This is a huge difference with the U.S. Case-Shiller index, where all of the 20 cities surveyed have yet to experience home price increase over the last twelve months."

Ottawa home prices gained 2.6 per cent; Toronto, 2.2 per cent; Vancouver, 1.5 per cent; Halifax, 0.8 per cent; Montreal, 0.7 per cent; and Calgary, 0.1 per cent. For Calgary, it was the first month-over-month advance after 12 straight months of declines.

"The message of this report is fairly consistent with the tone of the other Canadian home price indicators, which have all pointed to a rebound in Canadian home prices in recent months," wrote Millan Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities, in a note. "Moreover, with the home sales activity continuing to head higher, on account of the favourable buying environment, we expect prices to rise further, although we suspect that the extent of the gain in prices will be modest."

Canwest News Service


• Housing price index for July (percentage change by month/year)


Calgary 149.75 1.0 -11.1

Halifax 122.16 0.8 0.5

Montreal 124.85 0.7 2.7

Ottawa 118.64 2.6 2.6

Toronto 110.88 2.2 -4.6

Vancouver 136.67 1.5 -9.3

National Composite 123.87 1.6 -5.1


Source: Teranet-National Bank