Price growth backs up buy-and-hold strategy

The January numbers reveal a 0.3 per cent price dip from December, climbing only 2.7 per cent compared to the previous year – the smallest annual increase since November 2009.

“The pundits will say we are going to have a crash, while others say we’re headed for a soft landing,” says Eduardo Alzamora, director of financial services, Teranet. “I believe we’re heading for that soft landing.”

That may be. Almost all of Canada’s six major centres recorded slight year-over-year increases, except for Vancouver – down 2.54 per cent from 2012.
“Vancouver is a cooling market,” Alzamora told CREW, “but I don’t think this will happen in Toronto. People say there is a glut of condos, but I haven’t seen a crash in that market yet.”
Toronto dipped 0.37 per cent from December, but gained an impressive 5.31 per cent compared to January 2012.
Halifax and Ottawa-Gatineau region led the way with both monthly and annual increases – the former by 1.69 and 6.61 respectively, and the latter 0.47 and 2.72 per cent.
The Teranet – National Bank measure, different from the monthly report from the Canadian Real Estate Association, also studies 12 cities. On that count, January marked the 14 consecutive month of slowing growth in prices.

That's not necessarily good news for investors looking to sell single-family condo units, in particular. It also reinforces the idea that holding onto those properties instead of flipping them is the way to go in the short-term.

Teranet analysis backs that up,.
“We track the sales of specific homes over time, but we do put in filters to avoid unique sales skewing the results, like a home selling for over $1 million, or being handed over for only two dollars,” says Alzamora.
The Teranet – National Bank House Price Index is estimated by tracking the observed or registered home prices over time. Properties with at least two sales are required in the calculations. Such a “sales pair” measures the increase or decrease of the property value in the period between the sales in a linear fashion.

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