Gains in house prices in the Greater Toronto Area have lifted Canada's residential market into record territory, despite a slowdown in the Vancouver region, according to two new reports.
The industry's benchmark price – which depicts typical properties sold and excludes outliers such as luxury mansions – reached $683,000 for various types of GTA properties sold in October, up 2 per cent from September, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday.
The GTA led the way in month-over-month price gains in October among metropolitan markets tracked by CREA through its index. Greater Vancouver remains Canada's most expensive housing market, though the region's benchmark price slipped 0.78 per cent to $919,300 in October from September.
The national composite price for 11 major markets hit a new high of $579,800 last month, up 0.63 per cent from September and a 14.6-per-cent jump from October, 2015.
Nine of the 11 metropolitan markets showed gains in October compared with the same month in 2015, led by the B.C. Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, Victoria and the GTA.
CREA reported that total residential sales activity across Canada on the multiple-listing service, including those major markets, registered 42,473 last month, up 2 per cent from October, 2015. Sales climbed 2.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in October versus September.
A separate report, based on new data from the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index, said house prices in the Canadian markets surveyed rose 0.3 per cent in October compared with September. The index shows pricing trends based on a large sample of the sales of properties registered at land title offices.
The Vancouver region's house price index fell in October, snapping a streak of 21 consecutive months of increases.
Six of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed experienced month-over-month price gains. There were monthly hikes of 1.4 per cent in Hamilton, 1.2 per cent in Toronto, 1.1 per cent in Quebec City, 0.5 per cent in Calgary, 0.4 per cent in Winnipeg and 0.3 per cent in Victoria.
Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax and Edmonton had declines in October from September.
The composite index saw a year-over-year improvement of 11.8 per cent to a record high of 198.35, meaning prices went up by 98.35 per cent since June, 2005. It is the sharpest 12-month increase since June, 2010. The average sales price in the national survey was $576,656 for the 11 markets last month.
Saskatoon and Regina, which are part of CREA's survey but not in the Teranet-National Bank's statistics, each saw price drops of 1 per cent in October from September.
CREA also released data showing the average price for various housing types sold nationally in about 100 markets in October reached $481,994, down from record highs earlier this year.
Industry experts say Canada's housing market could face a slowdown in 2017 as the impact of interest rate hikes and tightened mortgage rules take hold.
It is unclear how much of an effect that the B.C. government's tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver, effective Aug. 2, has had in potentially shifting international money to the GTA.
Here is a rundown of six major markets, based on the data from the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index.
Prices in the Toronto area have surged 17.4 per cent over the past year. Toronto's index hit a record of 211.71 last month. In October, the Toronto region's price index rose 1.2 per cent compared with September. The average price for properties sold in the Toronto region was $656,854 last month.
On a monthly basis, prices in the Vancouver region declined 0.6 per cent. Despite the dip, the Vancouver area's price index of 248.01 remains by far the highest in Canada and is up 22.5 per cent from October, 2015. The average sales price for various property types was $787,462 last month.
Calgary's housing market eked out a monthly gain of 0.5 per cent in October, building on September's increase. The price index had posted month-over-month drops in June, July and August. Over the past year, the index has decreased 3.6 per cent. Calgary's average sales price in the October survey was $487,449.
The Teranet-National Bank statistics show a flat Edmonton market in October, with a slight price decline from September. Edmonton's house price index, which has dropped 0.9 per cent over the past year to 180.68, peaked in September, 2007. Edmonton sales prices averaged $381,830 in October.
Montreal home prices experienced a 1-per-cent deterioration in October versus September. Year-over-year in the price index, the market saw a 0.6 per cent decrease. The average sales price in the Montreal census metropolitan area was $316,942. Montreal's index fell to 150.45 last month.
The Ottawa-Gatineau market slipped 0.2 per cent in October compared with September. On a year-over-year basis, the Ottawa area saw the house price index ascend 1.3 per cent. Sales prices in the area averaged $321,290. Ottawa's index registered 144.90 last month.