This from today’s Globe and Mail – Canadian house prices dropped in June for the first time in nine years:
Canadian home prices fell in June for the first time since January, 1999, as the number of houses for sale remained at record levels.
The average price of an existing home fell 0.4 per cent in June to $341,096, compared with $342,615 the year before, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
“The fall in home prices…is a sizable dip in this indicator, given that not too long ago the Canadian housing market was witnessing double-digit price gains,” Millan Mulraine, economic strategist at TD Securities Inc., said in a research note.
Of the 25 major markets included in the statistics, average home prices declined on a year-over-year basis in Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Windsor-Essex. The largest decline of 2.6 per cent was in Edmonton, while the smallest was in Windsor-Essex at 0.5 per cent.
Last month, BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. economist Douglas Porter raised the possibility of an overall drop in home prices in Canada. Most industry watchers have stayed with the view that home prices will rise slightly this year.
In June, Mr. Porter said it was “unnerving” to note that Canada’s housing market performance appears to be tracking that of the U.S. but with a two-year lag, although he also sees a number of differences between the two markets.
He said he was tracking prices in the “middle ground,” cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, which still have fairly robust economic fundamentals but haven’t been supercharged by the commodities boom.
Prices in those cities all rose moderately year-over-year in June, up 3.7 per cent in Toronto, 4 per cent in Montreal and 6.8 per cent in Ottawa.
The Canadian and U.S. markets are still very different, CREA president Calvin Lindberg said in a statement. U.S. home prices dropped by 14.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to the benchmark Case-Shiller national home price index.
Out local market stands out as the biggest year-over-year decrease in sales in all the Nation, Greater Vancouver saw sales drop 42.9% from last June.