Photo: Kenny Louie/Flickr
In March, the average price for a home in Canada rose to $439,144, a 9.4 per cent increase over the same time last year according to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Removing the tight markets of Toronto and Vancouver, the numbers are far less dramatic: the average price shrinks by more than a $100,000 to $332,711, a slight 2.4 per cent increase over the previous year.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) for Canada rose 4.95 per cent year-over-year in March. According to CREA, the increase was the first boost of less than 5 per cent since May 2014 and the smallest overall gain since January 2014.
But once again, the priciest markets outdid Canada-wide growth. The GTA recorded a 7.85 per cent increase, the biggest surge of all the markets. It was followed closely by Greater Vancouver where the index rose 7.19 per cent.
“Price gains in these two markets are being fuelled by a shortage of single family homes for sale in the face of strong demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist.
Though Calgary homes sales have floundered in recent months, the index still rose by a rate of 4.13 per cent, though it was a much smaller gain that the market has seen recently – this was the smallest index increase since August 2012, according to CREA.
It points to increased polarization among the major metros in Canada where Vancouver and Toronto continue to vault ahead with seemingly unstoppable price growth, while Calgary stalls and the rest of the country sees modest changes.
Year-over-year, the price index rose between 2.5 and 3 per cent in Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, and plateaued in Saskatoon, Ottawa, and Greater Moncton. Prices rose by 0.5 per cent in Greater Montreal and declined by 4 per cent in Regina.
The start of the spring season has seen a boost in activity. National home sales rose 4.1 per cent between February and March.
Year-over-year, transactions were up 9.5 per cent in March.