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March 2016

Canada property price index records mixed data

Published: Monday 07 March 2016

New figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association shows that year-over-year price growth ranges widely among housing markets tracked by the MLS Home Price Index.

Greater Vancouver (+20.56 per cent) and the Fraser Valley (+16.94 per cent) posted the largest gains, followed by Greater Toronto (+10.69 per cent).

Home prices in Victoria posted a year-over-year gain of just over 7 per cent while Vancouver Island home prices rose by 5.5 per cent.

By contrast, home prices retreated by about 3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in Calgary, by about 2 per cent in Saskatoon, and by less than 1 percent in Regina. While home prices have begun to decline in Calgary and Saskatoon only fairly recently, they have been trending lower in Regina since early 2014.
Prices crept higher on a year-over-year basis in Ottawa (+1.10 per cent), rose modestly in Greater Montreal (+1.48 per cent) and strengthened further in Greater Moncton (+6.57 per cent).

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2016 was CDN$470,297, up 17 percent on a year-over-year basis.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average is a more modest CDN$338,392 and the year-over-year gain is reduced to 8 per cent.

If you’re planning on moving to Canada in the near future and, more importantly, looking to buy a home there, then given the rising prices in many areas of the country it is arguably more important than ever to make every penny you have (or cent) go as far as possible. And this is where making sure you get the best possible exchange rate when changing your Pounds to Canadian Dollars is crucial.

While some soon-to-be immigrants view the exchange market as little more than a lottery, and are happy to exchange their money as soon as they get it, regardless of the exchange rate, wiser emigrants plan the process well in advance by engaging the services of a specialist foreign currency firm like Halo Financial.
When exchanging large lump sums for emigration purposes, only a small fluctuation in the market can have a significant impact on the amount of money you could be potentially starting your new life with.

Say you sold your UK property around the middle of 2015. The timing of your exchange over the proceeding past six-month period will have had a dramatic impact on the amount of money you will have received with which to start your new life. At its highest point in the past half-a-year, on 26th August 2016, £1 was worth CDN$2.088, so if you had, say £150,000 to exchange, then on this date you would have received CDN$313,200. However, at its lowest point just last Friday, £1 was worth just CDN$1.954, working out at US$293,110. That’s a potential loss of more than CDN$20,000, just from a poorly timed exchange. It’s also worth noting that the £/CDN$ exchange rate had been as high as £1=CDN$2.081 as recently as 19thJanuary.
  


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