First-time home buyers might have taken a step backwards last month as both the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) and national average sale priced trended higher, according to a study by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Figures showed that Aggregate Composite MLS HPI was up 2.5% year-on-year in August this year.

Revealing the shift in each type of homes, the report found that apartment units had the largest y-o-y price gains in August (+9.5%). Coming second were townhouse/row units whose values were up by 4.3%. Meanwhile, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices saw little change on a y-o-y basis in August, recording +0.4% and -0.4%, respectively.

Moving on to the 17 home markets tracked by the MLS HPI, the trends were mixed. Home price gains are dropped on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Specifically, Greater Vancouver Area and Fraser Valley tracked higher by 4.1% and 10.7%, respectively.

Moreover, prices in Victoria were up 8.5% during the same period. Elsewhere on Vancouver Island, prices jumped 13.6%.

Among the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets monitored by the index, home prices were up from year-ago. Meanwhile, in some parts of the Prairies, benchmark home prices was kept low on a y-o-y basis – Calgary (-2.2%), Edmonton (-2.1%), Regina(-4.8%) and Saskatoon (-2.3%).

Finally, home prices rose by 7.1% in Ottawa due to an 8.2% increase in two-storey single family home prices. Similarly, values in Greater Montreal hiked by 5.9% driven by a 6.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices. Greater Moncton’s was also up by 4.8% led by a 7.5% increase in two-storey single family home prices.

For reference, the actual national average price for homes sold in August 2018 was over $475,500, marking 1% from the same month last year.

“The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada's most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $94,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $382,000,” the Canadian Real Estate Association noted.

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