Financial Post Staff
OTTAWA — Canadian house prices dropped in November for the first time in nearly a year, according to the monthly Teranet-National Bank house price index released Wednesday.
The 0.2% drop followed two months of flat prices, and was the first decline in the index since a “brief correction during the three months ending November 2010,” said National Bank senior economist Marc Pinsonneault.
The national composite index, which tracks registered prices of homes sold at least twice, shows prices fell in eight of the 11 metropolitan markets tracked — one more than in October.
“Calgary and Victoria stood out with declines of 1.6% and 0.9% respectively,” said Mr. Pinsonneault, noting the declines were much smaller in the other six markets, though declines in Toronto, Hamilton and Winnipeg “are noteworthy in that these three markets are considered tight.”
December data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association suggested most real estate markets in the country are balanced, with the exception of those three cities, and Victoria, which is considered to be a buyer’s market.
November’s prices were higher than October’s in Edmonton (0.1%), Montreal (0.4%) and Halifax (0.5%).
Year over year, the composite index has gained 7.1%, up slightly from 7.0% the previous month because of a bigger drop in prices between October and November in 2010.
“Since prices began rising again in December 2010, the recent acceleration trend in 12-month changes could come to an end with next month’s report on December 2011 prices,” Mr. Pinsonneault said.
November housing prices (% change m/m % change y/y):
- Calgary -1.6 0.5
- Edmonton 0.1 1.0
- Halifax 0.5 2.8
- Hamilton -0.3 4.4
- Montreal 0.4 7.2
- Ottawa -0.2 4.2
- Quebec -0.2 6.0
- Toronto -0.2 10.8
- Vancouver -0.2 9.1
- Victoria -0.9 -0.3
- Winnipeg -0.1 7.5
- National Composite -0.2 7.1