Canadian Home prices up in February but gains slowing

March 23, 2012 · Filed Under CREA Reports · Comments Off 

This was released today from CREA.

The MLS® Home Price Index, the leading measure of Canadian home prices, continued rising in February 2012, according to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Year-over-year comparisons continued shrinking, providing further evidence that Canadian home price growth may be topping out.

 Highlights:

•        The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index in February 2012 was up 5.1% from its year-ago level, the smallest increase since June 2011.

•        Toronto posted the largest increase (7.3%), but momentum continued fading. Price increases also moderated further in Calgary (2.5%) and Montreal (1.6%).

•        Gains decelerated in all housing categories tracked except 2-storey single family homes.

•        The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index rose 1.1% on a month-over-month basis in February 2012.

•        Prices were up most for 2-storey single family homes (1.6%), while townhouse/row and apartment units saw smaller gains (0.4% & 0.5% respectively).

The MLS® Home Price Index in February 2012 was up 5.1 per cent from levels in February 2011. The increase was the smallest since last June, and marked the fourth consecutive month in which gains slowed.

“MLS® HPI trends for February show that home price growth is generally slowing,” said Gary Morse, CREA President. “At the same time, price gains and trends differ among housing markets tracked by the index. Since all real estate is local, buyers and sellers should talk to their local REALTOR® to best understand how home price trends are shaping up where they live.”

The MLS® HPI remained above its year-ago level in all five of the markets tracked, led by Toronto (7.3 per cent). It also remains above year-ago levels in all housing categories tracked, led by two storey single family homes (6.9%).

The MLS® Home Price Index rose 1.1 per cent in February 2012 as compared to January. “The index typically rises in February from the previous month as demand ramps up leading into the spring housing market,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The monthly price increase in February this year was less than what we saw in either of the past two years, which is more evidence that the trend for Canadian home prices is slowing.”
Among housing categories tracked by the index, single family homes posted the biggest month-over month gains in most markets, particularly in Toronto where they are in short supply relative to strong demand.