Home prices fell in eight of 11 major Canadian real estate markets in February as more weakness crept into the real estate market, according to figures released Thursday.
The Teranet-National Bank national composite house price index rose by 0.1 per cent last month. But that was largely because of strength in the Vancouver market, where prices gained 1.5 per cent from January.
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Prices also rose month-over-month in Victoria (0.5 per cent) and Hamilton (up 0.3 per cent).
But in eight other markets, prices fell from the month before — and that downward trend is becoming increasingly evident in some markets.
In Toronto, prices fell 0.1 per cent month-over-month.
In once-booming Calgary, prices fell for the fourth month in a row, as the city's energy-focused economy deals with a sharp drop in oil prices. Home prices have fallen by a cumulative 2.3 per cent since November.
"The effects of significantly lower oil prices had already turned up in resale activity, with sales in Calgary and Edmonton down more than 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, from October to January," notes TD economic analyst Admir Kolaj in a commentary.
"Calgary had been on a decelerating streak since November. Today's data release indicates that cracks are also beginning to appear in Edmonton."
Kolaj predicts that Canada's energy-driven markets, including St. John's, are likely to experience price corrections of up to 10 per cent "peak-to-trough" through the year.
Price corrections were even larger in some other cities. Prices in Ottawa-Gatineau dropped for the fifth time in six months and are now down 5.2 per cent in that period. Montreal prices fell for the sixth time in seven months -- down 5.0 per cent overall. And in Halifax, prices have dropped 5.5 per cent in the last five months.
On a year-over-year basis, prices are up 4.4 per cent nationally. But that represents the fourth straight month that the yearly increase has decelerated.
Annual price increases in Hamilton (up 8.0 per cent), Toronto (up 7.3 per cent), Vancouver (up 5.7 per cent) and Calgary (up 5.6 per cent) were above the national average. But year-over-year prices were lower in Winnipeg (down 1.0 per cent), Ottawa-Gatineau (down 1.2 per cent) and Montreal (down 2.4 per cent).
The Teranet-National Bank National House Price Index looks at how the price of the same home changes over time, so that only properties with at least two sales are entered into the mix.
Teranet-National Bank House Price Index - February 2015
City % change month-over-month % change y/y
Calgary -0.3% +5.6%
Edmonton -0.8% +4.7%
Halifax -0.6% +0.8%
Hamilton +0.3% +8.0%
Montreal -0.3% -2.4%
Ottawa -2.1% -1.2%
Quebec City -0.1% 0.0%
Toronto -0.1% +7.3%
Vancouver +1.5% +5.7%
Victoria +0.5% +4.0%
Winnipeg -1.0% -1.0%
11-city composite +0.1% +4.4%