Friday, February 15, 2013
House price growth moderated in 2012, although with some regional variation. National house prices fell 1.2 percent over the second half of 2012, driven mainly by the sharp retrenchment in British Columbia. In turn, this was mainly the consequence of a sharp correction of prices in the Vancouver area, where condos prices were down to their 2010 levels as of December 2012. On a yearly basis, national house prices index is still up by about 3.5 percent in 2012, slightly down from the 6 percent growth in 2011, with Toronto, Calgary and in particular Regina posting the largest increases, according to a new IMF report on Canada.
Moreover, the report points out that house prices are still on the strong side. As of December 2012, at a national level house prices were still almost 30 percent above their January 2009 trough. In Q3:2012, the house price-to-rent ratio was 60 percent above its historical average in Canada, more than in any other advanced economies with the only exception of Norway and Belgium. Price-to-income ratios also look high, and at almost 40 percent above their long-term average are among the highest.
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