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In February the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM retreated 0.1% from the previous month, following December and January rises that had interrupted a downtrend. It was the first February decline since 2013. The index was up in only three of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, the fewest since October 2014: Vancouver (+0.4%), Hamilton (+0.2%) and Halifax (+0.8%). The index for Victoria was flat on the month and the other seven component indexes were down: Toronto −0.1%, Montreal −0.3%, Ottawa-Gatineau −0.7%, Edmonton −0.8%, Calgary −0.8%, Winnipeg −1.0%, Quebec City −1.5%.
For Vancouver it was the 12th rise in 14 months, taking its index to a new record. However, this market’s raw (unsmoothed) index was down 1.3% on the month, a retreat coinciding with a cooling of home sales as reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The raw index for Toronto declined after three consecutive rises. In previous months, observers had noted a certain haste on the part of buyers to beat the entry into effect of tougher conditions for obtaining an uninsured mortgage. The advance of the Hamilton index interrupted a run of five declines. The retreat of the Montreal index was the first in 14 months. This is not a concern since the Greater Montréal Real Estate Board reported the strongest sales in six years for the first two months of a year.
Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™
The composite index in February was up 7.5% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month rise since March 2016 and an eighth consecutive deceleration from last June’s record 12-month gain of 14.2%. The February 12-month rise was led by Vancouver (15.8%), Victoria (12.4%) and Hamilton (8.4%). It was below the countrywide average but still respectable in Toronto (6.2%), Halifax (5.3%), Montreal (5.0%), Ottawa-Gatineau (3.7%) and Winnipeg (3.0%). For Calgary it was a minimal 0.6%. There were declines from a year earlier in the indexes for Edmonton (−0.3%) and Quebec City (−2.3%).
Of the 14 markets not included in the countrywide composite index, indexes for seven were down from the previous month. Indexes for all 14 were up from a year earlier, with rises ranging from 1.2% in Sudbury, Ontario, to 23.9% in Abbotsford-Mission, B.C.
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