June 25, 2009

Canadian home prices in April down 6.7% year over year – fifth consecutive 12-month decline -eighth straight month in which composite index falls from month prior

Real estate headlines accross the nation have been reporting record setting home price rises. The Canadian Real Estate Association just reported that the market is now returning to “pre-recession levels” of activity with prices up 16.4% from the January low. Unfortunately, Teranet has arrived to spoil the party.

The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index™ is a representation of average home price changes in six metropolitan areas: Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. The index is weighted based on aggregate value of dwellings as retrieved from the 2006 Statisitcs Canada Census. BuzzBuzzHome considers the index a more accurate representation of the housing market as it is unskewed by variations in housing size or type.

According to the index Canadian home prices in April were down 6.7% from a year earlier. It was the fifth consecutive 12-month decline. April was also the eighth straight month in which the composite index fell from the month before – the longest run of monthly declines since the beginning of index coverage in February 2000. The composite index is now 8.9% below the peak of last August.

Of the six constituent city indices, three were down from a year earlier: Vancouver (−10.9%), Calgary (−9.8%) and Toronto (−7.6%). Three cities held out against 12-month deflation, though with marked deceleration of their 12-month rises: Montreal (2.4%), Ottawa (0.6%) and Halifax (0.2%). The 12-month price increase in Halifax was the first since January. Calgary prices have been correcting for well over a year now, since August 2007, and are now down 13.3% from the peak of that month. Calgary has shown monthly declines in 17 of the 20 months posted since then, including the 10 consecutive months from last July through April.

Vancouver prices have also shown 10 straight monthly declines and are down 11.9% from peak. Toronto prices have declined eight months in a row and are 11.3% below peak. In Ottawa the downtrend is less pronounced: prices have declined in each of the six months since the October peak and are now down a cumulative 4.8%. Halifax and Montreal prices were up from the previous month in both March and April and are now only 1.7% and 1.4% below their respective peaks.

BuzzBuzzHome has been following the discrepancies between MLS data and the Teranet index since March 2009. Read our original story speaking of the mismatch between these two data points Canada’s plunging home price statistics flawed (March 18, 2009).
For additional information on Teranet and their map based report visit

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