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Photo: Kim Manley Ort/Flickr

Eye-popping annual home price increases in Toronto were surpassed by gains in several other southern Ontario markets last month.

“No wonder why the Non-Resident Speculation Tax introduced in April by the Ontario government applies not only to Toronto and Hamilton, but also to the Greater Golden Horseshoe,” writes National Bank Senior Economist Marc Pinsonneault in a note.

The commentary is included with the latest Teranet-National Bank House Price Index data release, which suggests Toronto home prices skyrocketed 26.3 per cent in April compared to the same month last year.

That was a record, Canada’s sixth largest bank, says, and a main driver of the national index price, which climbed 13.4 per cent annually in April.

But Oshawa, Barrie and the St. Catharines — Niagara region, none of which are included on the index, saw greater gains when National Bank used the same methodology to track seven southern Ontario markets.

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Oshawa prices were up a soaring 31.8 per cent in April on a year-over-year basis, followed by Barrie at 29.2 per cent and St. Catharines — Niagara, which inched out Toronto with an annual leap of 26.7 per cent.

Meantime, Peterborough prices rose 24.3 per cent, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo’s soared 22.5 per cent, and both Brantford and Guelph saw prices shoot up by roughly 17 per cent.

The index prices span condos, row and townhouses and single-family homes, and only properties that have changed hands twice are included in calculations, so

National Bank’s Pinsonneault says even if Ontario’s foreign-buyer tax stymies speculative activity, “it should not bring home price growth to a halt due to strong fundamentals such as jobs creation, immigrants from other countries and lately a new flow of migrants from other provinces.”

There’s mortgage rates, too, which have been in a long-term tailspin since peaking around 1990.

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