|On a national basis, the Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index (HPI) fell by 0.4% in July from the previous month but rose 2.1% year-over-year (y/y). This was the first acceleration in y/y home price growth since April 2017. It also suggests that the dip in home prices last summer and their subsequent rebound in and around the GTA may contribute to further y/y gains in the months ahead.
Prices in Toronto fell by 0.5% in July from the prior month. In Vancouver, they fell 0.6%. It was the first time since 2013 that benchmark prices in Toronto and Vancouver fell concurrently for two straight months.
Continuing the pattern over the past year, apartment condo units posted the largest y/y price gains in July (+10.1%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.7%). By contrast, one-storey and two-storey single-family home prices were again down from year-ago levels in July (-0.7% and -1.5% respectively) but the declines were noticeably smaller than in recent months.
Price trends vary widely on a regional basis. Home price gains are diminishing on a y/y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (GVA: +6.7%; Fraser Valley: +13.8%), Victoria (+8.2%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+13.7%).
Among Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, home prices remained above year-ago levels in Guelph (+4.1%) and stabilized in Oakville-Milton (+0.1%). By contrast, home prices remained down on a y/y basis in the GTA (-0.6%) and Barrie and District (-3%).
In the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained down on a y/y basis in Calgary (-1.7%), Edmonton (-1.3%), Regina (-4.8%) and Saskatoon (-2.1%).
Meanwhile, benchmark home prices rose by 7.2% y/y in Ottawa (led by an 8.3% increase in two-storey single-family home prices), by 5.7% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7.0% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 5.0% in Greater Moncton (led by a 9.9% increase in apartment unit prices). (See Table below).
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2018 was just under $481,500, up 1% from the same month last year. This was the first year-over-year increase since January.
The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts close to $100,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $383,000.