Vancouver posts 18 straight months of rising house prices

House prices in Vancouver increased by 2.3 per cent in July, marking the sixth straight month that prices in the city have increased by more than two per cent, according to the latest release of the Teranet-National Bank Composite Housing Price Index.
Frances Donald, senior economist at Manulife Asset Management, on the hottest housing markets in Canada. 5:09

House prices in Vancouver increased by 2.3 per cent in July, marking the sixth straight month that prices in the city have increased by more than two per cent, according to the latest release of the Teranet-National Bank Composite Housing Price Index.

The string of price increases​ brings the 12-month rise for the Vancouver market to a record 24.3 per cent.

The survey of prices also reported that Vancouver marked its 18th consecutive month without a decline, with a new record set each month.

Big gains in July were also seen in Victoria, up 3.8 per cent, Toronto, up 3.1 per cent, and Hamilton, up 2.4 per cent.

Toronto saw its 14th price rise in 15 months, with new records set in each of the last six months.  Prices have also set records in each of the last five months in Hamilton, in each of the last three months in Victoria and in the last two months in Winnipeg.

Nationally, those four hot markets helped house prices rise by two per cent in July and by 10.9 per cent from a year earlier.

National Bank senior economist Marc Pinsonneault said some observers believe prices are going to cool in Vancouver, based on July's 19 per cent drop in year-over-year home sales and the new 15 per cent property transfer tax on foreigners' purchases of residential real estate.

Tight market

"However, despite the drop in existing home sales, the Vancouver resale market remains tight. Furthermore, the labour market in Vancouver is red hot, with employment having risen 7.4 per cent on a [year-over-year] basis."

Pinsonneault said those two factors provide support for the city's house prices. "The story is not solely about alleged foreign capital flows," he said.

July saw more modest price gains in Ottawa-Gatineau, up 1.7 per cent; Winnipeg, up 1.6 per cent; and Montreal, up 0.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, house prices were flat in Edmonton in July, and they declined 0.1 per cent in Calgary.

Halifax saw a month-over-month drop of 0.4 per cent, while prices in Quebec City fell 1.6 per cent from June. 

The Teranet-National Bank Composite Home Price Index measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes.