January HPI breaks two-month fall

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A January rise in home prices broke a two-month decline, according to Teranet’s House Price Index, the research body said on Thursday, essentially cancelling out equivalent declines in December.

Teranet data, which measures the change in price for resale single-family homes, found the House Price Index (HPI) was up 0.2 per cent in January, compared to a 0.2 per cent decline in December.

“The January rise interrupted a series of two consecutive monthly declines,” Teranet said in a release. “However, January prices were up in only five of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed.”

Those markets include Vancouver (where HPI rose 1.2 per cent), Victoria (HPI rose 0.9 per cent), Toronto (HPI rose 0.6 per cent), Halifax (HPI rose 0.5 per cent) and Edmonton (HPI rose 0.3 per cent).

The increase in Halifax interrupted three consecutive months of declines, totalling 4.2 per cent.

However, prices were down 1.6 per cent in Montreal, marking the fifth monthly decline in price in six months, for a net cumulative decrease of 4.7 per cent. The index also showed a 1.1 per cent drop in Ottawa-Gatineau, the fourth decrease in six months, for a total decline of 3.2 per cent. A 0.3 per cent decline in prices in Quebec City added to the third straight monthly decreases, for a total drop of 2.7 per cent.

“In these four markets east of Toronto, recent price behaviour is consistent with buyer’s-market conditions,” Teranet reported.

Hamilton, too, experienced a 0.3 per cent decline in prices, while Calgary experienced a 0.7 per cent drop in prices in January – the third consecutive monthly decrease, adding to a total drop of 1.9 per cent.

Prices in Winnipeg were down one percent – the seventh decline in nine months, though the city’s cumulative decline was just 0.6 per cent.

“It should be kept in mind that since June 2005, Winnipeg prices have risen the most of any of the 11 markets surveyed,” Teranet said.

Compared to the year-ago period, the composite index was up 4.7 per cent in January, marking a third straight deceleration. Twelve-month gains above the country-wide average in Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary and Edmonton (7.4 per cent, 7.2 per cent, 7.1 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively), were offset by declines in Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax (down 1.6 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively).
 
Vancouver and Victoria reported increases that were close to the national average (up 5.1 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively), while increases in Winnipeg and Ottawa-Gatineau (up 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively) were negligible.

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