Canadian housing activity benefits greatly from population growth

A significant driver of Canada’s housing dynamism is its population growth, taking into account the latest sales figures from major markets.

Statistics Canada data showed that the national population expanded by 531,497 to roughly 37.6 million in July, ending up as the greatest year-over-year increase registered since the 1970s.

A RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger earlier this year found that Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary have all been ranked among the 10 best cities to live in across the world. Much of their attractiveness lies in their population growth and other positives like healthcare, education, retail availability, and ease of transport.

These factors tend to outweigh the impact of higher prices, according to RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive VP Christopher Alexander.

“While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change,” Alexander stated at the time. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live.”

Condo markets in these leading Canadian cities have accelerated significantly this fall, especially when compared to other major cities south of the border.

Last month alone, benchmark prices in Toronto went up by 5.2% annually to $805,500. This was only about $10,000 below the record highs achieved around two years ago, Bloomberg reported.

And even though Vancouver prices have exhibited a downward trend over the last few months, sales activity intensified by a massive 46% year-over-year, making September the third straight month of sales growth.

Even Calgary, which is still recovering from the catastrophic effects of the oil industry turmoil seen from 2015 onwards, enjoyed an 8.2% annual increase in sales in September.

To compare, the traditionally hot Manhattan market has been labouring under a steady sales slowdown over the past two years. During the third quarter, resale prices for Manhattan condos and co-ops shrunk by 8% annually.

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