Solid start to spring pushes prices up

Solid start to spring pushes prices up
Home prices across the country are benefitting from the spring thaw, reversing a four-month decline in year-over-year prices, according to Teranet-National Bank.

In its latest Housing Price Index report, the data compiling agency said housing prices rose 4.7 per cent in March, compared to the year-ago period. That increase, it said, represented “an acceleration from February after four consecutive decelerations.”

Hamilton, Toronto and Vancouver drove that year-on-year hike, with prices rising 8.4 per cent, 7.6 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively. Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Quebec City, Halifax and Montreal recorded smaller increases, while prices fell 0.9 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau and one per cent in Winnipeg, compared to the year-ago period.

The price index also rose 0.3 per cent over February, marking the third consecutive monthly increase, Teranet-National Bank said.

“The composite index is now at an all-time high, though only the Toronto and Vancouver component indexes match it in this regard,” the report stated.

March prices were particularly welcome, considering many of the cities with the highest increases faced steep declines in previous months.

In Quebec City, for instance, prices were up 1.5 per cent over February, following a four-month drop. Prices fell in four of the last five months in Halifax, though the east coast city posted a 1.2 per cent increase in March.

Prices were up 0.4 per cent in Edmonton, 0.3 per cent in each Toronto and Vancouver, and 0.2 per cent in each Calgary and Winnipeg. Ottawa-Gatineau, Victoria and Hamilton faced 0.3 per cent, 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent declines, respectively.