House prices continue to increase. No crash in sight, but neither are big gains

Yes, the House prices rendezvous is still happening all over Canada …

Canadian house prices up 1.1 percent in May from April: Teranet

Canadian home prices jumped in May from April as a spring rebound in real estate continued in most cities, offsetting a couple of weak markets, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Wednesday.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices rose 1.1 percent in May, the ninth time in 15 years that May prices were up 1.0 percent or more from April.

The index was up 2.0 percent from a year earlier, which matched the April rate and marked the smallest 12-month gain since November 2009.

The report suggested Canada’s housing market regained strength in the spring after a long slow winter of decline following the government’s move to tighten mortgage lending rules in July 2012.

Residential real estate activity typically picks up in the spring, and economists have been waiting to see if demand will return after a dramatic slowdown since the middle of 2012.

The report echoed one released on Monday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp that showed housing starts jumped much more than expected in May from April, suggesting residential construction may contribute to Canadian economic growth in the second quarter.

The Teranet data showed prices rose in May from April in nine of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, led by a 2.3 percent gain in Calgary and a 1.9 percent rise in Edmonton. Prices were up 1.4 percent in Hamilton, 1.2 percent in Montreal and Winnipeg, 1.1 percent in Ottawa, 1.0 percent in Toronto, 0.8 percent in Quebec City and 0.7 percent in Vancouver.

They were flat in Halifax and down 0.8 percent in Victoria.

Year-on-year prices dropped in two cities – Victoria, where they were down 4.1 percent from May 2012, and Vancouver, where prices fell 3.2 percent. British Columbia had the hottest housing market going into the downturn.

Compared with May 2012, prices were 6.5 percent higher in Quebec City, 5.8 percent higher in Calgary and Hamilton, 4.6 percent higher in Winnipeg, 4.0 percent higher in Edmonton, 3.9 percent higher in Toronto, 2.3 percent higher in Halifax, 2.0 percent higher in Ottawa and 1.9 percent higher in Montreal.

via Reuters

And as expected, the best performers are the usual sweet spots of Canada’s real estate – enclaves in the Oil Sands Kingdom …

Calgary house price growth best in Canada

2.3% hike in May for repeat home sales

Calgary experienced the best monthly growth rate in house prices in May for repeat home sales across the country, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index said prices in Calgary were up 2.3 per cent from the previous month.

“The decline in active listings has played a part in the rise in prices. Homes on average are taking less time to sell compared to 2012, and a number of homes are also receiving multiple offers,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Nationally, prices rose by 1.1 per cent in the 11 markets surveyed. It was the ninth time in the 15 years of index data collection that May prices were up 1.0 per cent or more from the month before. The previous occurrences were in 2002, in 2004 through 2007 and in 2010 through 2012, it said.

The May monthly gain was one per cent or more in seven of the 11 markets surveyed led by Calgary. They also included Edmonton (1.9 per cent), Hamilton (1.4 per cent), Montreal and Winnipeg (1.2 per cent), Ottawa-Gatineau (1.1 per cent) and Toronto (1.0 per cent). Lesser monthly increases were recorded in Quebec City (0.8 per cent) and Vancouver (0.7 per cent). Prices were flat in Halifax and down from the month before in Victoria (0.8 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 of the index.

On a yearly basis, prices in Calgary rose by 5.8 per cent — the second highest in the country behind Quebec City’s 6.5 per cent.

“In annual terms, house price growth in Calgary has continued to accelerate, reaching a three-year high of 5.8 per cent, as the city recovers from its recent housing downturn,” said Amna Asaf, economist with Capital Economics. “With the months supply of inventory trending lower in the province of Alberta as a whole, we suspect house prices in Calgary will continue to edge higher.”

At the national level, for a second consecutive month, the index was up 2.0 per cent from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month increase since November 2009.

“By way of comparison, the Case-Shiller home price index of 20 U.S. metropolitan markets was up 10.9 per cent from a year earlier in March,” said the report.

In Canada, the price gain over the 12 months ending in May exceeded the cross-country average in seven of the 11 markets surveyed for the national composite index. Besides Calgary and Quebec City, prices were up in Hamilton (5.8 per cent), Winnipeg (4.6 per cent), Edmonton (4.0 per cent), Toronto (3.9 per cent) and Halifax (2.3 per cent). The 12-month increase matched the average in Ottawa-Gatineau (2.0 per cent) and lagged it in Montreal (1.9 per cent). Prices were down from a year earlier in Victoria (4.1 per cent) and Vancouver (3.2 per cent). For Vancouver it was the 10th straight month of 12-month deflation.

By MARIO TONEGUZZI, CALGARY HERALD – mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

The conclusion is ….

Home prices rise 2%: A crash isn’t forecast, but neither are big gains 

MICHAEL BABAD The Globe and Mail

Canada’s housing has cooled as sales have plunged, though prices have remained intact after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s attempts to tame the mortgage market and engineer a soft landing.

Today’s reading matches the 2-per-cent gains of April, meaning it’s still the slowest increase since late 2009.

But prices in seven of the 11 cities studied did better than the national average.

Quebec City chalked up gains of 6.5 per cent, Calgary and Hamilton, 5.8 per cent, Winnipeg, 4.6 per cent, and Edmonton 4 per cent.

In Toronto, which along with Vancouver has become the focus of the country’s real estate angst, prices rose 3.9 per cent.

On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 1.1 per cent from April.

In Vancouver, prices rose 0.7 per cent on the month, though slipped 0.8 per cent in Victoria.

“Although stronger than expected, May’s price increase from April is not exceptionally large,” said senior economist Marc Pinsonneault of National Bank.

“Indeed, it is below the average of 1.2 per cent in May in the last 12 years (including a recession year),” he said in a research note accompanying the release of the index.

“Without Calgary and Edmonton, the composite index would have risen just 0.9 per cent in May, the second-lowest increase for that month in the last 12 years. So, last May’s increase in the composite index is not a display of strength in the Canadian home resale market. However, it is consistent with an overall balanced market … as soft conditions in most of the eastern provinces and B.C. are offset by tight market conditions in the Prairies.”

Mr. Pinsonneault added he does not expect “a marked acceleration” in annual prices in the near future.

Well, what d we see here … “Last Hurrah” ?

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