A widely watched Canadian home price index just posted its highest gain seen for the month of October in 22 years.

The Teranet-National Bank Home Price Index rose 1.3 percent last month over September and 8.1 percent from the previous year. Ottawa-Gatineau, Hamilton and Montreal were the local markets that saw both the strongest monthly and annual price gains.

Victoria, Vancouver and Halifax also saw price increases healthily above one percent in October. Meantime, Toronto, Quebec City, Edmonton and Winnipeg all saw increases at one percent or lower.

The Teranet-National Bank index is known to lag behind other widely used home price tracking tools, including the monthly average home sale prices published by the Canadian Real Estate Association and local boards.

This is because the index is compiled using a repeat sales methodology that works by tracking the price change between the two most recent sales of the same property. The index uses prices entered into public land registries in the Canadian markets it tracks. These often are slower to respond to market changes because sale price data is not added to land registries as quickly as it’s entered into the MLS systems used by real estate boards.

National Bank Senior Economist Marc Pinsonneault said that a surge in the number of sales entered into the index was a sign the Canadian housing market is continuing to firm up after the pandemic caused the market to stall through the spring.

Because of the lagging nature of the index, the worst of the pandemic’s market impact was more clearly captured in the summer, rather than in the spring data.

Pinsonneault noted that sales entered into the index in October were up 48 percent over the same time last year.

“This development echoes the revival of home sales reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association beginning in July, recovering ground lost in the severe slowdowns induced by COVID-19 in previous months,” he said.

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