- Toronto, Vancouver still hot
- Alberta shows surprising resilience
- Canada’s new worst resale housing market: Ottawa
Canada’s major housing markets saw some improvement in March from the previous few months, with fewer cities reporting declines in existing house prices and Vancouver and Toronto still leading the charge in price growth.
Overall, the index of existing houses (it excludes new builds) was up 0.29 per cent on the month, and 4.73 per cent from a year earlier.
Toronto and Vancouver, which together account for more than half the weight of the index, accounted for much of the growth. Toronto prices are up 7.62 per cent from a year earlier, while Vancouver prices are up 5.3 per cent.
Alberta saw a surprise rebound in its housing markets, which many analysts expected would be in serious retreat at this point given the oil price collapse. Prices in Calgary were up slightly, by 0.19 per cent, though they are still down some 2 per cent from their peak last fall.
And Edmonton saw stronger house price growth than Vancouver (up 0.38 per cent in March versus 0.25 per cent for Vancouver).
Still, many analysts don't expect this rebound to continue, given the large increase in listed properties in Alberta.
Hamilton’s housing market, which has been surprisingly hot the past few years, looks like it reached a local peak, with the price index falling in March even though it's up by the largest amount of any city (8.4 per cent) in the past year.
But the Teranet numbers show a new winner in Canada for worst housing market: Ottawa-Gatineau. Evidently stung by the Harper government’s austerity measures, the capital region saw one of the largest price drops in March, 0.33 per cent, and existing home prices there are down 3.5 per cent since the start of the year.
That’s the largest drop this year so far, worse than Calgary or Edmonton. And it suggests prices in Ottawa were falling at a 14-per-cent annualized pace in the first quarter of the year. Ouch.
Here are where house prices were rising or falling across Canada’s major markets in March.