Canadian home prices hit record highs

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index, released Wednesday, showed prices have risen eight straight months in Canada. Overall prices are up 5.3% from a year earlier.

Prices rose 2.3% in Calgary, 1.7% in Toronto, 1% in Ottawa, 0.9% in Vancouver, 0.5% in Montreal, while declining 0.9% in Halifax. Five of the six metropolitan cities covered in the index hit record highs.

For Vancouver, July marked the 10th straight month of price increases, currently the longest run of any market, according to Teranet. Calgary’s index is still 8.8% down from its all-time high of August 2007, and down 0.9% from its pre-correction peak of 2010.

“According to seasonally adjusted data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, market conditions were balanced in the country as a whole, though appearing tight in Toronto, where the market seems to be supported by non-resident buyers,” said the report.

Toronto prices were up 4.8% from a year earlier, although the largest gains were in Vancouver, where they were up 8.5%. Calgary was the only metropolitan area where prices were down from last year, still 0.9% lower than July 2010.

The steadily rising prices in Canada have elevated the national average of $360,000 to more than twice the median existing home price in the U.S., if converted to Canadian dollars, according to BMO Nesbitt Burns.

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