OTTAWA – Canadian home prices climbed in August, led by gains in the two hottest markets Vancouver and Toronto, where prices have more than doubled in just over 11 years, a home price index showed on Wednesday.
Prices rose 1.5 percent last month from July, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, and were up 11.4 percent from a year earlier. The index measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes.
It was the third-largest monthly August rise since the index began in 1999.
Prices were up in the month in seven of 11 markets surveyed, led by gains in the two largest markets, Toronto and Vancouver, where heady appreciation since 2010 has sparked fears of a housing bubble.
Toronto home prices were up 2.8 percent in August from July, the seventh straight monthly rise. The Toronto index topped 200 for the first time, indicating that prices have more than doubled since the index was set at 100 in June 2005.
Vancouver prices rose 1.7 percent in the month, the 20th month without a decline, even as the city implemented a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers to try to address a lack of affordability for residents.
Vancouver has seen prices rise 249 percent since 2005, the index showed.
Gains were also notched in Victoria, Hamilton, Ottawa, Halifax and Edmonton, while prices declined in Winnipeg, Calgary, Montreal and Quebec City, Teranet said.
While Toronto and Vancouver have boomed since about 2009, slumping energy prices and job losses in the oilpatch have hurt the Calgary housing market, where prices are down 4.5 percent from a year ago and down 5.3 percent from their October 2014 peak, according to Teranet.
Canada’s federal government and banking regulators have taken several steps in recent years to cool the housing market, including shortening the maximum length of a mortgage term and increasing the minimum down payment on some houses.
The Teranet report showed prices were up from a year ago in eight of 11 markets, led by a 25.8 percent gain in Vancouver, a 17.5 percent rise in Victoria, and a 14.6 percent rise in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. All three are at record price levels.
© 2016 Thomson Reuters