Housing prices flat or falling in fourth-quarter

OTTAWA — Canadian housing prices were flat or falling in the last quarter of 2011, according to the Teranet-National Bank house price index released Wednesday.

 

Home prices fell in December by 0.2 per cent from the previous month, the second straight monthly decline following two consecutive months of flat prices, National Bank senior economist Marc Pinsonneault wrote in his monthly report.

 

The index was up 6.8 per cent from December 2010, though the year-over-year advance had slowed somewhat from the 7.1 per cent gain posted in November.

 

Home prices fell in December in nearly half of the 11 markets included in the survey, including Victoria, Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. "For Ottawa-Gatineau, Vancouver and Victoria it was the third consecutive decline, and for Toronto it was the second," Pinsonneault said. Prices in Edmonton were flat, while prices rose in Quebec City, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary and Halifax.

 

The year-over-year gains in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Hamilton and Quebec City all exceeded the national average. While the year-to-year price differences varied widely, "December was the first month since September 2010 in which all 11 metropolitan markets showed prices up from 12 months earlier."

 

Meanwhile, Pinsonneault said the Canadian Real Estate Association has determined market conditions are generally balanced across Canada, "the exceptions were tight markets in Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and —suddenly — Halifax, and buyers' markets in Vancouver and Victoria."

 

Postmedia News

 

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