The Teranet National Bank composite house price index rose 6.5 per cent in the year to February, driven by higher prices in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and Hamilton, Ont.

Vancouver experienced the highest February house sales on record and all the 0.6 per cent increase for the month of February was a result of the 3.2 per cent gain in prices in Vancouver.

Canada increasingly has a three-speed housing market:

  • A handful of markets are experiencing economic downturns because of low oil prices and their prices are in decline.
  • A small number of cities are seeing high job creation and demand for homes, pushing up prices quickly.
  • The rest are hovering in neutral.

Calgary prices are down 3.3 per cent from a year ago February and 5.4 per cent from their peak in October 2014. Edmonton's composite index is off 4.5 per cent since its peak in September 2007 and down one per cent in the past year.

Teranet does not monitor St. John's, N.L., which also has been hurt by the downturn in commodity prices.

Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal are little changed since last year.

But four cities are driving the national composite housing price higher:

  • Vancouver, up 14.5 per cent on the year.
  • Victoria, up 9 per cent.
  • Toronto, up 9 per cent.
  • Hamilton, Ont., up 9.5 per cent.

The Teranet index is based only on homes that have been resold two or more times.