Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Calgary repeat home sale prices rise 7.1%
Second biggest jump in Canada behind Vancouver’s 7.5%
By Mario Toneguzzi 
Calgary Herald February 12, 2014

CALGARY - Calgary had the second best year-over-year growth rate in prices for repeat home sales in January, according to the latest Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index released Wednesday.

It said Calgary’s annual increase was 7.1 per cent which was behind only Vancouver’s 7.5 per cent.

The national composite, of 11 major centres surveyed, rose by 4.5 per cent.

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.

Toronto saw an annual increase of 5.8 per cent.

Sonny Scarfone, economic analyst with TD Economics, said the index surprised on the upside with a larger gain in momentum than expected across the country.

“Home price gains are still exceeding income growth by a considerable margin, especially in larger real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver. A low supply of new listings is an important contributor to the upward pressure on prices,” said Scarfone.

“However, as U.S. and Canadian economic growth accelerates and the Federal Reserve continues to taper its quantitative easing program, North American bond yields are likely to rise over time and this will be reflected in mortgage rates. As a consequence, the current stronger-than-expected prices are likely to soften over the medium term.”

The index nationally rose 0.4 per cent from December to an all-time high. It was the largest monthly rise in five months.

The gain from a year earlier exceeded the cross-country average in four of the 11 markets: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Hamilton (5.1 per cent). It was close to the average in Edmonton (4.4 per cent) and Winnipeg (3.9 per cent). It was minimal in Montreal (0.8 per cent) and Quebec City (0.6 per cent). Prices were down from a year earlier in Victoria (5.7 per cent), Halifax (2.9 per cent) and Ottawa-Gatineau (0.6 per cent). The 12-month decline was a first for Ottawa-Gatineau, the 11th straight for Victoria and the fourth in six months for Halifax, said the report.

On a monthly basis, price increases were led by Vancouver (1.1 per cent), Toronto (0.5 per cent) and Quebec City (0.5 per cent) led the composite index. Calgary equalled it. Hamilton prices were up 0.3 per cent, Winnipeg and Montreal prices 0.2 per cent. Edmonton was flat on the month. Prices fell 0.3 per cent in Victoria, 1.1 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau and 1.7 per cent in Halifax. The January rises in Montreal and Quebec City interrupted runs of five consecutive monthly declines. For Ottawa-Gatineau it was the fifth straight monthly decline, for Victoria the fourth and for Halifax the second. For Vancouver it was a ninth straight monthly rise, for the composite index the 10th in 11 months, said the report.

“There are signs that national house price inflation is close to peaking. The earlier strength in existing home sales, triggered by fears of higher mortgage rates, has begun to fade,” said David Madani, economist with Capital Economics. “January’s preliminary data reported by the regional real estate boards indicate that national home sales declined for a fourth consecutive month.

“The drop back in the months’ supply of inventory is already consistent with annual house price growth rate remaining around 4.0 per cent. If we are correct about home sales drifting lower this year, it will once again start to put downward pressure on house price inflation.”

No comments: