News: Toronto house price surprise

Thu, 24 Jan 08

House prices in Toronto are growing faster than expected, according to recent figures released by Statistics Canada...

Prices rose 6.1% on a yearly basis and 0.5% in November 2007. Economists had been expecting slightly lower increases in both cases. Booming commodity prices helped Saskatoon lead the country once again, as the area saw prices jump 47.9%, while Windsor was the only city in Canada to see year-over-year deflation, with prices falling 1.7% from a year ago.

In other housing-related news, the value of building permits issued fell more than expected in November, tumbling close to 10% from October. But the total value of building permits issued by municipalities hit $68-billion in the first 11 months of 2007, a 12.4% jump from the first 11 months of 2006 and higher than the previous record of $66-billion, also set in 2006.

"Obviously the Canadian housing market, though still very healthy, has been losing steam (housing starts took a weather-related dive in December) but it is nowhere close to U.S. housing conditions," wrote BMO Capital Markets economist Jennifer Lee in a morning commentary.

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