House prices flat for second straight month

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House prices remained unchanged nationally for a second consecutive month in October, according to the Teranet-National Bank index.

But while prices did not move much from those in August, the index showed a national composite of 11 major metropolitan areas have seen a 7.9 per cent increase in house price from a year ago.

Apart from a small dip in 2009, house prices have been a steady incline for more than a decade.

The index is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data from public land registries. Dwellings must have been sold at least twice to be calculated into the index.

The largest shift in the index between September and October were 1.5 per cent drops in the house prices in Calgary and Victoria. Both those cities have shown some of the slowest price growth in 2011, as well. The largest monthly gain was 0.8 per cent in Toronto, which was also registered a year-over-year gain of 10.4 per cent, bettering Vancouver’s 10 per cent gain to claim the country's top spot.

Unlike the largest city in the country, Vancouver's prices, in fact, dropped, 0.3 per cent in October from September.

Still, Toronto may not lead the nation in price gains for long.

TD Economics today concluded that construction levels in Toronto had far exceeded demand.

“As these inventories work their way through the market, the region is poised to experience a larger-than-average correction over the medium-term in resale prices, sales and starts,” said Sonya Gulati, economist with TD Economics.

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