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House Price Index Trends Over the Previous Three Months

As summer 2019 draws to a close, we are looking at the House Price Index trends that June, July, and August revealed.

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index is an independent representation of the rate of change of Canadian single-family home prices. Here is what trends emerged over the past three months:

June 2019

While the June 2019 House Price Index rose by 0.8% from May 2019, the rise was a small one historically — the 21-year average rise for June is 1.2%. Additionally, the House Price Index only went up due to seasonal pressures.

If the seasonal adjustments were taken out, the composite index would have actually retreated by 0.5% in June.

On a local level, the Winnipeg and Quebec City indexes saw small rises (0.1% and 0.3% respectively), while Montreal (0.8%), Toronto (1.3%), Halifax (1.5%), Hamilton (1.6%), Victoria (2.1%), and Ottawa-Gatineau (2.2%) saw larger gains.

Vancouver had the 11th straight month without a rise, and Calgary had the 11th in the last 12 months without one.

See the full June 2019 report:

July 2019

In July 2019 the House Price Index was up by 0.7% from June, however, like the previous month that rise was only due to seasonal pressure.

With the seasonal adjustments removed, the July 2019 composite index would have retreated by 0.1%. Additionally, the 21-year average for July is 1.0%, so the reported gain was not seen as a sign of market vigour.

The Vancouver index declined in July by 1.0%, but the 10 other indexes all reported gains.

However, on a year-over-year basis some market indexes were still on a downtrend — particularly in Western Canada. Vancouver decreased by 6.2% from July 2018; Calgary was down YoY by 3.1%; and Edmonton dropped 2.8%.

The remaining eight indexes saw year-over-year gains, but they were slight. The largest gainers were Ottawa-Gatineau with a 6.0% YoY increase; Montreal rose 5.8%; and Hamilton went up 5.1%.

Of particular gain was the urban areas of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. The indexes for Oshawa, Guelph, St. Catharines, Barrie, Kitchener, Brantford, and Peterborough all rose from the beginning of the year.

See the full July 2019 report:

August 2019

In August 2019 the House Price Index rose again by 0.4% from July 2019, but this time it was a true increase. Even with the seasonal pressures removed, the composite index would have still been up slightly.

Even so, the August increase was below the 21-year average of 0.7%.

On a market level, Vancouver declined by 0.8%, Edmonton dropped by 0.1%, and Quebec City was down by 0.4%, its first decline after three consecutive monthly rises. The eight other markets were all up over the month.

The August 12-month rise of 0.6% was small, but nonetheless an acceleration — the first one in nine months. The Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary indexes declined on a year-over-year basis, but the remaining eight indexes saw 12-month gains.

In Ontario, Windsor and London saw 12-month gains in the double digits (11.4% and 10.1% respectively). Kingston, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay also saw strong year-over-year rises.

See the full August report:

Overall Change

While the House Price Index has grown at a below-inflation rate of 0.6% over the past 12 months, the weakness is not regionally broad-based.

Western Canada markets, including Vancouver, Calgary, Victoria, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, contributed to slow the national HPI, but central and eastern markets saw year-over-year growth.

In addition, the National Bank reported that housing affordability improved in 2019 Q2 the most since 2009 as measured by the urban composite index:

As we enter the final quarter of 2019, a close eye will be kept on Canadian housing trends across the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index and other key indicators.

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