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Home prices in the Greater Toronto Area ticked higher in February, offering some relief for homeowners who have watched values plummet over the past year.

The home price index, which excludes the highest valued properties, was $1,091,300 last month, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. That figure amounts to a 1.1-per-cent rise from January.

However, home prices remain down 17.7 per cent year-over-year, according to the same index.

Sales volumes have dropped by an even larger amount, down by nearly half, or 49 per cent, from February, 2022, according to TRREB’s seasonally adjusted figures. However, they climbed higher month-over-month for the first time since August.

Home prices have plummeted since the Bank of Canada started hiking interest rates in March, 2022, to combat the worst inflation rates in decades. The central bank last raised its benchmark rate by 0.25 percentage points in late January and hinted that it would pause there in order to assess the economic landscape. If that happens, it could offer the housing market a reprieve.

Yet recent economic data has suggested the Bank of Canada may need to hike again, in large part because unemployment has remained incredibly low. There is now speculation the central bank could raise rates by another 0.25 percentage points in the first half of the year.

Across the Greater Toronto Area, homes in Richmond Hill, Markham and Toronto have fared the best over the past year in the home price index, falling 12 per cent, 13 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Homes in Durham Region, east of Toronto, have suffered the most, falling an average of 23 per cent year-over-year.

Of all home types across the region – condos, townhouses, semi-detached and detached – condos have fared the best over the past year, falling an average of 12 per cent since last February.

Housing market statistics for Vancouver were also released Thursday, and home sales and prices also rebounded from January – but were below last year’s levels. The volume of resales rose 77 per cent month-over-month but were one-third lower than the 10-year February sales average, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Although more homeowners put their properties up for sale, the board said new listings remained among the lowest in recent history.

Vancouver’s home price index reached $1,123,400 last month. That was a 1.1-per-cent increase over January and a 9-per-cent decrease over February of last year.

With a report from Rachelle Younglai