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Canada Housing March 2020

Canada: Housing prices increase strongly March

According to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, house prices increased 0.6% on a month-on-month non-seasonally-adjusted basis in March, stronger than February’s 0.4% uptick. In annual terms, house prices were up 3.8% (February: +2.9% year-on-year), marking the strongest rise since June 2018.

In March, prices in 8 of the 11 markets surveyed increased over the month prior. Prices in Vancouver and Ottawa increased robustly in March, while prices in Toronto—which accounts for over one-third of the 11-city composite index—ticked up a solid 0.9%. In contrast, prices in Winnipeg and Edmonton decreased in March.

Commenting on the housing market in March, Rishi Sondhi, economist at TD Economics, noted:

“The sharp decline in March new listings (with another massive drop likely to occur in April) suggests that financial stresses have not (yet) compelled households to list their homes en masse. In this regard, homeowners are no doubt benefitting from mortgage deferral programs being offered by banks. However, the longer economic weakness lingers, the greater the chance that households are forced to list their properties. Such an outcome would put downward pressure on prices.”

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