The Teranet National Bank report for this past January shows that average housing prices across Canada came in at a 0.3 percent decrease compared to December of 2012. For the fifth month in a row this has been the trend, leading to the idea that to buy property and hold on to it, for the time being, is the best way to go. January’s figure was also the smallest annual month to month increase seen since November of 2009.
Teranet’s financial services director, Eduardo Alzamora, subscribes to the soft landing theory, rather than the crash mind-set of others. He may be on to something. Across Canada, at least in six of its major population centers, year over year increases were tepid. Vancouver was the exception, showing a 2.54 percent decrease from 2012. Then again, Vancouver had the hottest market in the country and it appears to be cooling somewhat. Prices are still some of the highest in the nation.
Toronto, despite its overabundance of condos, is not likely to see that same cooling trend, notes Alzamora. That city did see a 0.37 percent decrease in prices compared to December of 2012, but when compared to January of that same year prices showed a considerable 5.31 percent increase.
Halifax saw the most increase compared to December, at 1.69 percent and the same for January to January comparisons, at 6.61 percent. Second highest was the Ottawa-Gatineau area with a monthly increase of 0.47 percent and a year to year price increase of 2.72 percent.
The report from Teranet National Bank looks at 12 individual areas and measures things a bit differently than the Canadian Real Estate Association. The latter report noted that January of 2012 was the 14th month in a row showing real estate prices in a slow decline.
These numbers do tend to make investors, particularly in the condo market, a tad nervous. It also lends them to consider holding on to properties in their portfolio longer, rather that doing a quick flip in the current market.
Analysts at Teranet agree with this strategy, based on their results. The firm’s method includes the use of filters to weed out unusual sales that might skew the results. Rather, it tracks listed home prices over a longer period of time, those that have been sold at least twice. This gives a more accurate measure of how the property values have tracked either up or down.