House prices set new highs in Toronto, Vancouver in March

House prices hit highs in Toronto, Vancouver in March

Hamilton sees biggest yearly gains

(Arpad Benedek/Getty Images)

Hamilton sees biggest yearly gain in house prices in March, Teranet Index finds. (Arpad Benedek/Getty Images)

TORONTO – Home prices were up in nine of 11 major Canadian cities in March compared with a year ago, with those in Toronto and Vancouver setting records, according to a new report.

The Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index says national home prices were up 4.7 per cent last month compared with March 2014.

Hamilton saw the biggest yearly gain, with prices rising 8.4 per cent, although they were down 0.3 per cent from their peak in December 2012.

Toronto and Vancouver set new records according to the Teranet statistics, rising 7.6 and 5.3 per cent, respectively, compared with March 2014.

» Toronto’s top neighbourhoods

» Vancouver’s top neighbourhoods

» Calgary’s top neighbourhoods

» Edmonton’s top neighbourhoods

» Montreal’s top neighbourhoods

Even Calgary, where home sales have slumped due to the sharp decline in oil prices, the cost of buying a home was up 4.4 per cent from a year ago although still down 2.1 per cent from October’s peak.

Prices were down nearly one per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau and one per cent in Winnipeg, while Quebec City, Halifax and Montreal recorded small gains. Prices were up 4.7 per cent year over year in Edmonton and 3.3 per cent in Victoria.

On a month-to-month basis the index was up 0.3 per cent in March, representing its third consecutive monthly gain.

Only homes that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the Teranet Index, which uses data from public land registries.