Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ontario Housing Prices Still Booming

The Quebec economy and job market were growing slowly even before the Couillard Liberal government won power in April 2014. With the new government following a familiar script of doling out tough fiscal measures in the post-election budget, Montreal and Quebec City house prices peaked in the summer of 2014. 

As of May 2017, Montreal housing prices have finally inched back 0.2% above the previous peak level reached in 2014, but Quebec City prices were still -6% below 2014. If Quebec's fiscal plan works over the medium to long term, let's see whether Montreal housing price growth catches up with and even pulls ahead of Toronto in later years. 

No sign of that so far. 2013 is our starting or base year before the Quebec Liberals were elected and the Ontario Liberals were re-elected. Greater Toronto's housing price growth of 9.4%/year was streets ahead of Greater Montreal at 0.2%/year when we compare the annual average Teranet housing price index for 2016 to the 2013 annual average.

Vancouver's annual price growth was even higher over this period at 11.6%. 

Vancouver sale prices for the first 5 months of 2017 were up 12% from the same months in 2016.

No surprise to see Alberta house prices turning down in 2016 with Calgary down -2.6% and Edmonton down -1% compared to 2015 on a full year average basis. However, Calgary housing prices did rise month-over-month in late 2016 with the oil price. For 2017 so far, Calgary prices were up 1% over 2016 with Edmonton prices down -1%.  

The beat goes on in southern Ontario with Toronto prices up 25% and Hamilton prices up 21% so far in 2017. It's hard to believe that the Greater Toronto housing price boom is going to end with a soft landing. Montreal and Quebec City annual price growth in 2017 remains way behind at 3% and -2% respectively.

CIBC economist Benjamin Tal's review of rent control is worth reading now that the Ontario government is extending this policy to buildings built after 1991.


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