November 18, 2020


In October the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 1.3% from the previous month, the strongest gain for a month of October in the 22 years of the composite index. The rise was led by Ottawa-Gatineau (2.7%), Hamilton (2.1%), Montreal (1.8%), Victoria (1.7%), Vancouver (1.5%), and Halifax (1.5%). There were highly respectable monthly increases for Toronto (1.0%), Quebec City (1.0%), Edmonton (0.6%) and Winnipeg (0.5%). Calgary edged up 0.1%.
· Another sign of firming markets is that for a second consecutive month, the number of sale pairs entering into the 11 metropolitan indexes[1] was higher than a year earlier, and by no less than 48%. This development echoes the revival of home sales reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association beginning in July, recovering ground lost in the severe slowdowns induced by Covid-19 in previous months. The unsmoothed composite index,[2] seasonally adjusted, was up 2.1% in October, suggesting that the uptrend of the published (smoothed) index could persist.

· The October composite index was up 8.1% from a year earlier, a third consecutive acceleration and the biggest 12-month gain since February 2018. It was led by five markets – Ottawa-Gatineau (17.1%), Montreal (13.2%), Hamilton (13.0%), Halifax (12.4%) and Toronto (9.5%). Lagging the countrywide average were Quebec City (6.3%), Vancouver (5.7%), Victoria (5.0%), Winnipeg (4.0%) and Edmonton (0.7%). Calgary was down 2.3% from a year earlier.
· Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the countrywide composite, indexes exist for seven other urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe – Barrie, Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Oshawa and Peterborough. In October all seven were up from the previous month and from a year earlier. The 12-month gains ranged from 11.4% for Peterborough to 16.3% for Brantford.

· Indexes not included in the composite index also exist for 13 markets outside the Golden Horseshoe. Seven of them are in provinces other than Ontario: Abbotsford-Mission and Kelowna, B.C.; Lethbridge, Alberta; Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, Quebec; and Moncton and Saint John, N.B. The October indexes for these seven were up from the previous month except for Saint John, down 0.5%. All seven were up from a year earlier, their 12-month gains ranging from 2.4% for Kelowna to 9.3% for Sherbrooke.

· The other six markets are in Ontario outside the Golden Horseshoe: London, Kingston, Belleville, Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sudbury. The October smoothed indexes for all six were up from the previous month and from a year earlier. The 12-month advances ranged from 6.8% for Thunder Bay to 15.9% for Windsor.

· As the table at the end of this report shows, the indexes for all but one of the 31 metropolitan markets surveyed were up on the month in October, the same diffusion as in August. In September all 31 were up on the month. This was the broadest diffusion of monthly gains over three months in the whole period for which we have indexes for each of these 31 markets, i.e. since 2009.

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