After a little bubble of fear-mongering in the media this year, you don't hear so much these days about the horrors allegedly in store for Canada from the bursting of a housing bubble.
That's probably because the evidence is piling up that there was no such bubble and, maybe not surprisingly, the nonexistent bubble isn't bursting.
The latest reassuring report comes from the Teranet- National Bank house price index for August, which shows that the formerly rapid rise in prices has slowed to a crawl, but offers no sign of a collapse.
The index, which is similar to the Case-Shiller index in the U. S, is carefully designed to avoid the distortions that can creep into numbers from the Multiple Listing Service run by real-estate brokers.
What the Teranet-National Bank index of six large cities now shows is that prices across Canada gained an average of 0.2 per cent in August, with a couple of cities edging down: Calgary by 0.5 per cent and Vancouver by 0.4 per cent.
Montreal inched up by 0.5 per cent and Toronto by 0.4 per cent, with healthier gains of 1.4 per cent in Ottawa and 0.9 per cent in Halifax.
Nevertheless, notes National Bank economist Marc Pinsonneault, it's clear that housing in Canada is costly after a number of years during which home prices soared considerably faster than people's incomes.
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