Big markets continue to push home price averages up

by Ryan Smith

The Canadian property market continues to grow, driven largely by the booming markets in Vancouver and Toronto. Excluding those markets, in fact, gains and declines are relatively evenly split across the country.

The national average sale price rose 8.3% year over year in October, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association. Excluding Vancouver and Toronto, however, the national average was up just 2.5%.

The number of markets where sales posted a monthly increase and markets where it declined was evenly split, according to CREA. The national monthly increase, a 1.8% rise from September, was driven largely by gains in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions.

“The continuation of low interest rates is supporting home sales activity,” said CREA president Pauline Aunger. “Even so, the strength of sales activity varies by location and price segment across Canada.”

Detached homes are still going strong, according to CREA. Short supply and strong demand continues to drive sales in big markets in British Columbia and Ontario. Condominiums, meanwhile, remain relatively plentiful.

“The balance between supply and demand is generally tighter for single detached homes than it is for condo apartments and that’s unlikely to change any time soon,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. “For that reason, price gains for single detached homes should continue to outstrip those for condo apartment units for some time.”

Actual sales rose year over year in half of all local markets, led by increases in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, the GTA and Montreal, CREA reported. Those gains were offset somewhat by a drop in the Calgary area, which has seen real estate founder following the oil slump.

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