House price index falls for third time

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Home prices continue to moderate downwards, particularly out west, offsetting modest gains in Ontario and further east.

Canadian home prices were down 0.2 per cent in February from the month before, according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price It was the third decline in four months. In February the composite index was up 6.1 per cent from a year earlier. Prices rose 0.1 per cent in January from December, although they were up 6.5 per cent from the previous year. Vancouver resale prices fell 0.3 per cent, the fourth monthly drop, but this was offset by a 0.6-per cent gain in Toronto. In February prices in Vancouver were down 0.3 per cent, while Toronto only gained 0.1 per cent.

In February, prices were down from the previous month in six of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, including all four in Alberta and British Columbia. The retreat was 1.1 per cent in Victoria (fourth decline in five months), one per cent in Edmonton (fourth decline in six months) and 0.6 per cent in Calgary (fifth decline in six months). More to the east, prices fell 0.8 per cent in Hamilton and 0.4 per cent in Ottawa. Prices rose 1.6 per cent in Quebec City. There were smaller rises of 0.4 per cent in Halifax and 0.2 per cent in Montreal and Winnipeg.

It was the third month in a row of deceleration in 12-month inflation, attributable to monthly rises that began in December 2010 after a brief correction. The February 12-month gain varied widely from market to market. In the lead were the three markets that have been tightest over the last year: Toronto (10.0 per cent), Winnipeg (8.2 per cent) and Hamilton (7.5 per cent). In Vancouver the 12-month gain was 6.2 per cent, also above the national average. In other markets it was below the national average: 5.6 per cent Quebec City, 4.6 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau, 4.4 per cent in Montreal. The 12-month gain was only 2.3 per cent in Halifax, 1.3 per cent in Calgary and 1.1 per cent in Edmonton. Prices in Victoria were down 1.7 per cent from a year earlier.




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