The last two monthly gains in the national HPI might seem moderate, but they are in fact larger than usual for this time of the year when resale activity is typically low. For instance, the 0.2% increase in December compares to an average of 0.1% for this month over the last 11 years. Indeed, after seasonal adjustment, the national HPI ended the year with a 5-month string of gains, including a strong 0.7% rise in December. This is quite a turnaround from the weakness experienced in the first half of 2019. Indexes for Toronto, Hamilton and more recently Vancouver, Victoria and Quebec City contributed to this trend reversal, while indexes for Ottawa-Gatineau, Montreal and Halifax performed well throughout the year. Only the indexes of the largest metropolitan areas in the Prairies, namely Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg remained lethargic over the second half of the year. This is consistent with end-of-year CREA
data showing that the home resale market in the Prairie Provinces is still favorable to buyers. At the opposite, markets are favorable to sellers in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, and balanced in B.C. For 2020, expect home prices to accelerate in all these regions except the Prairies.