Prairies left out of the price uptrend

Canadian home prices remained expansionary in December except in the Prairie Provinces, according to the latest Teranet – National Bank of Canada House Price Index report.

For the month, Canada’s house price index clocked a 0.2% increase. While this growth might seem moderate, it is actually better than the typical gains recorded during this time of the year when resale activity is weak.

"This was a good showing for a month of December, equalled or bettered in only three of the last 13 years," the report said.

After a seasonal adjustment, the national house price index ended the year with a five-month string of gains, including a strong 0.7% rise in December. This marked a turnaround from the weakness experienced during the first half of 2019.

The indexes for Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver, Victoria, and Quebec City contributed to the trend reversal. Only the indexes of the largest metropolitan areas in the Prairies – namely Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg – remained lethargic over the second half of the year.

The table below shows the house-price growth in Canada's major housing markets:

"For 2020, expect home prices to accelerate in all regions except the Prairies," the report said.

These results are consistent with the end-year analysis of the Canadian Real Estate Association, which shows that home resale markets in the Prairie Provinces continue to be favourable to buyers. On the other hand, sellers can take advantage of the market conditions in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces.

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