The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 0.8% in January 2020 compared to December, marking its eighth consecutive monthly gain. It is now up 5.5% from last year’s lowest point in May and has set new records in each of the past six months (see the CREA chart below). The MLS® HPI in January was up from the previous month in 14 of the 18 markets tracked by the index. (see CREA table below).Home price trends have generally been stabilizing in most Prairie markets in recent months following lengthy declines. Meanwhile, prices are clearly on the rise again in British Columbia and in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). Further east, price growth in Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton continues as it has for some time now, with Montreal and particularly Ottawa having strengthened noticeably in recent months.
Comparing home prices to year-ago levels yields considerable variations across the country, although for the most part trends are still regionally split along east/west lines, with rising gains from Ontario east, and a mixed bag of smaller gains and declines in B.C. and the Prairies.
Home prices in Greater Vancouver (-1.2%) remain slightly below year-ago levels, but declines are still shrinking. Meanwhile, January saw prices back in positive y-o-y territory in the Fraser Valley (+0.3%). Elsewhere in British Columbia, home prices logged y-o-y increases in the Okanagan Valley (+3.5%), Victoria (+3.4%) and elsewhere on Vancouver Island (+4%).
Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon continued to post small y-o-y price declines, while the y-o-y gap has now widened to -6.9% in Regina.
In Ontario, home price growth has re-accelerated across most of the GGH, with a number of markets getting close to double digits. Meanwhile, price gains in recent years have continued uninterrupted in Ottawa (+13.7%), Montreal (+9.8%) and Moncton (+6.4%).
All benchmark home categories tracked by the index accelerated further into positive territory on a y-o-y basis, with similar sized gains among the different property types. Condo apartment unit prices posted the biggest y-o-y increase (+5%) followed closely by two-storey single-family homes (+4.8%), one-storey single-family homes (+4.4%) and townhouse/row units (+4.2%). Earlier this cycle, condo prices markedly outpaced the single-family sector, but in the past year, detached homes have more than caught up.
Also, note in the table below that the benchmark home price in Toronto-area Oakville-Milton at $1.05 million is now above the benchmark price in Greater Vancouver of $1,026. The GTA has a much larger and more diverse housing market with a benchmark price of $.841 million.