9.6% annual hike for repeat home sales to record level
By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald
CALGARY - Calgary’s housing market continues to shine compared with the rest of the country as local residental real estate prices showed the highest growth rate in Canada in February, according to a report released Wednesday on repeat home sales.
Calgary prices rose by 9.6 per cent year-over-year and by 1.1 per cent month-over-month - both the best in the country and to an all-time high for the city, said the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index.
Nationally, of 11 centres surveyed, prices were up 5.0 per cent from last year and by 0.3 per cent from January.
The index is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data collected from public land registries. All dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation.
The trend in price increases in Calgary does not appear to be changing in March. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, so far this month from March 1-11, the average MLS sale price in the city is up 5.28 per cent from the same time a year ago to $480,345 while the median price has increased by 7.25 per cent to $429,000. CREB stats indicate there have been 796 MLS sales so far this month, up 10.71 per cent from last year but new listings are down 4.05 per cent to 1,114 and active listings are off by 18.80 per cent to 3,049.
The Teranet-National Bank report said that for the second month in a row, prices for Canada as a whole rose to an all-time high, though new records were set in only two of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed - Vancouver (for a fourth straight month) and Calgary (for the first time since September 2007).
The gain from a year earlier was well above the cross-country average in two of the 11 markets, Calgary and Vancouver (7.7 per cent). It was slightly above the average in Toronto (6.1 per cent) and Edmonton (5.3 per cent), equal to the average in Hamilton (5.0 per cent) and below it in Winnipeg (3.5 per cent) and Montreal (1.9 per cent).
In Halifax (4.7 per cent) and Ottawa-Gatineau (0.6 per cent), prices were down from a year earlier for a second consecutive month. In Victoria (3.4 per cent), home prices have been down from a year earlier for 12 months now. Quebec City posted its first 12 month deflation in 15 years (2.0 per cent). It is the first time since October 2009 that there is price deflation in at least four of the regions covered, said the report.
“In February the east-west dichotomy became more pronounced than ever,” it said.
Home prices were up from the month before in all five markets of Western Canada - Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria (0.9 per cent), Edmonton (0.6 per cent) and Winnipeg (0.5 per cent). The rise in Victoria ended a run of four consecutive monthly declines. For Vancouver it was the 10th consecutive monthly increase. In the six markets of central and eastern Canada, the only monthly rise was in Montreal (0.7 per cent), the second advance after six months of flat or declining prices. Prices were down 0.1 per cent in Toronto, making February the fourth month without a gain in the last six. For Ottawa-Gatineau (0.8 per cent) it was the sixth decline in a row, for Quebec City (1.7 per cent) the sixth in seven months. For Halifax (1.7 per cent) it was the third decline in a row, said the report.
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