Canadian house prices ‘moderating’: Royal LePage

Toronto, Calgary only cities to buck the house market slowdown

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Canada’s housing market is in Goldilocks mode — not too hot and not too cold, except in Toronto and Calgary which are “bucking the trend of moderation” now taking hold in major cities from Halifax to Montreal and Winnipeg, says a quarterly house price survey from Royal LePage.

House prices are still expected to climb in most Canadian cities, but at a far less “robust” pace than has been seen since the 2008 recession, says the real estate company in a review of third-quarter home sales released Wednesday.

That’s with the exception of the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary where home sales are nearing record levels and a shortage of listings continues to drive up prices.

Nationally, the average price of a home climbed between 4.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent year-over-year in the third quarter of this year, “a natural slowing” of price appreciation.

“To be clear, we expect home prices to continue to grow in the months ahead, but at a slower rate than we have seen in recent years,” says Royal LePage president Phil Soper.

Not so, however, in the GTA where condos saw the biggest price appreciation of all housing types after an unusually strong August for sales, up 8 per cent year-over-year to an average transaction price of $383,039 in the third quarter, says the house-price survey.

Detached bungalows were up 7.2 per cent to an average of $618,088, year over year, and standard two-storey homes climbed 7.6 per cent to $733,317.

Calgary continued to outpace everywhere else, with the average condo price up almost 12 per cent in the third quarter, year over year, to just under $300,000. Detached bungalows saw price gains of almost 11 per cent, to an average of $515,844, followed by a 9.2 increase in standard two-storey homes to an average transaction price of $499,811, according to the survey.

Vancouver saw more moderate price gains, with detached bungalows up 6.1 per cent in the third quarter, year over year, to an average $1.135 million. Two-storey homes saw prices climb 5.6 per cent to $1.2 million while condos actually dipped 0.2 per cent to $502,869.

“The brisk pace, sometimes approaching frenetic, that we have seen in recent months in some of Canada’s largest real estate markets is slowing, Slower, yet still growing,” added Soper in a statement.

Low interest rates and an improving U.S. and Canadian economy are expected to buoy the housing market, he added.

“Further, early indicators, such as declines in the number of new listings in some key cities, suggest that as demand slows, so shall supply, further protecting Canadian homeowners’ primary investment.”


By Susan Pigg

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