Canadian MLS launches Home Price Index
Canadian home buyers, sellers and Realtors are now being served by the newly launched Canadian Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Home Price Index (HPI) across Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Although Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver have had an HPI in place since the mid-1990s, this is the first HPI available for the five main boards designed to track trends in home prices in markets across Canada.
“Combined with the knowledge, experience and skills of your REALTOR®, the MLS® HPI allows you to better understand these trends — and how they can affect the market value of your home,” the site tells consumers, adding “More importantly, though, it helps you approach one of life’s most important decisions — buying or selling a home — with greater confidence.”
Just as with the National Association of Realtors’ HPI in America, the intent is to track overall trends, not predict any individual property value and allow consumers to compare “apples to apples” when moving from region to region.
The MLS HPI tracks changes in home prices by comparing price levels at a point in time with price levels in a base (reference) period which is different from average and median home price calculations in that the HPI is based on the value homebuyers assign to various housing attributes, which tend to evolve gradually over time. The company says, “This means that price changes calculated using the MLS® HPI are less volatile than those derived using common measures like average and median, which can swing dramatically in response to changes with high-end or low-end sales volumes over time.”
The new MLS HPI is published in each of Canada’s major real estate markets at or near the beginning of each month, to reflect activity that occurred during the previous month.