Photo by Erik Mclean/Unsplash

Peak house prices are still being reached in two of Canada’s major housing markets.

Again and again, Montreal and Ottawa have reached new heights on the Teranet–National Bank House Price Index, and May was no exception.

Montreal prices were up 5.25 percent from a year ago and 0.5 percent compared to April.

Ottawa saw prices increase 6.14 percent annually and 0.68 percent on a month-over-month basis.

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The nine other major markets tracked by the index are off their respective peaks by varying degrees.

For instance, Hamilton is just 0.02 percent from its all-time high for prices, while Quebec City is off peak by 0.28 percent.

Canada’s biggest market, Toronto, is 3.42 percent away from its July 2017 peak, though prices rebounded 0.67 percent in May from April and remain up 2.63 percent over year-ago levels.

Chart: National Bank

The margin between current Vancouver home prices and peak heights continues to widen. Off 4.98 percent from July 2018, Vancouver prices fell 0.25 percent on a month-over-month basis and 4.05 percent annually.

Calgary has the largest gap between current prices and the peak, which was reached in October 2014. Prices are 7.02 percent away from that mark.

Edmonton, meantime, has had the longest slump. Prices are still 6.25 percent down from the September 2007 peak.

However, the overall composite index, which is a weighted average of the 11 markets, increased 0.47 percent between April and May, representing the first month-over-month improvement in nine months, according to National Bank.

The index is up 0.69 percent from a year ago.

However, National Bank Senior Economist Marc Pinsonneault puts the recent gains in perspective.

“One should not rejoice about the first rise in home prices in seven months as May is historically the second strongest month of the year,” Pinsonneault writes.

“[F]or a month of May it was the smallest rise in 21 years of index history,” he notes.

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