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Home prices up August; off 2008: survey

Canadian home prices are on the road to recovery, but still haven’t rebounded to pre-recession levels, according to a survey that shows while housing prices rose in August they are still down 3.4% from their peak in August 2008.

The Teranet-National Bank house price index, which measures resale prices in six urban markets across Canada, shows that housing prices nationally rose by 2% in August, the fourth straight month-over-month increase.

It was also the second month in a row that prices were up in all of the six markets.

“This turnaround is consistent with an improvement in market conditions in the first half of 2009 -- more homes have been selling and fewer have been coming on the market,” said Marc Pinsonneault, a senior economist with National Bank Financial Group.

For the ninth month in a row, national housing prices have declined on a year-over-year basis, but Pinsonneault notes that “the 12-month decline has been diminishing steadily since it peaked at 6.9% in May.”

In the three housing markets that were the least battered in the economic downturn, Montreal, Halifax and Ottawa, resale prices are actually higher now than their pre-recession peak a year ago.

The hardest-hit cities in the index still have a long way to go to return to pre-recession levels: Calgary’s prices remain 12.9% below peak, while Vancouver’s are 7.7% lower.

The Teranet-National Bank index tracks prices of homes sold at least twice from data supplied to public land registries.

Canwest News Service


Housing price changes for August 2008

Percentage change m/m y/y

Calgary 2.0 -8.3.

Halifax 0.6 0.9.

Montreal 1.2 3.6.

Ottawa 1.5 2.8.

Toronto 2.7 -3.0.

Vancouver 1.7 -7.7.

National Composite 2.0 -3.4.

Source: Teranet-National Bank