Home price growth slowest since recession

“The composite index may be up for the second consecutive month, but we would not interpret this as a display of strength,” wrote National Bank Senior Economist Marc Pinsonneault. “For one, the April rise was the weakest increase for the month of April in the 15 years covered by the index - except for April 2009 when prices were declining during the recession.

“For another, were it not for the strong monthly increases recorded in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, the composite index would have been flat last April.”

The outlook is for further weakness as new listing and sale data from Realtors suggest weak market conditions in Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Vancouver and Victoria.

“It is therefore very likely that annual price inflation in the Teranet-National Bank composite index will continue to diminish substantially in the months ahead,” Pinsonneault said.

On a year-over-year basis, the index rose 2.0% in April, the lowest increase since November 2009. Over the 11 metropolitan areas covered, seven exceeded the national average: Quebec City (6.1%), Calgary (5.5%), Hamilton (5.4%), Winnipeg (4.4%), Toronto (4.3%), Edmonton (3.6%) and Halifax (2.8%). The year-over-year price change was below the national average in Ottawa-Gatineau (1.5%) and Montreal (1.3%). There was home-price deflation in Victoria (3.3%) and Vancouver (1.5%).

On a monthly basis, the Composite index increased 0.2% in April. The index rose in six of the regions covered: Winnipeg (1.3%), Edmonton (1.3%), Calgary (1.2%), Hamilton (0.6%), Montreal (0.5%) and Toronto (0.4%). Prices declined 0.8% in Vancouver, 0.5% in Quebec City, 0.2% in Ottawa-Gatineau and 0.1% in Victoria and Halifax.

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