Canada's Housing Bubble

Analysis of the real estate bubble in Canada --

Housing prices cool though sales still brisk Print E-mail

Dec 15, 2011 CBC News

Vancouver remains Canada's most expensive real estate market

Driven by hot markets in some unlikely places, housing prices are still rising in Canada, but not by nearly as much as earlier in the year, new data show.

The average price nationally for a resale home in November was $360,400, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday, up 4.6 per cent from November 2010 but unchanged from October.

That's the lowest price rise this year. From February through July, CREA's monthly reports showed housing prices rising more than eight per cent over 2010.

The hottest provincial market in November was Newfoundland and Labrador, where prices were up 12 per cent from the same month in 2010. At the back of the pack was Prince Edward Island, where the average resale home price dropped 11.1 per cent.

At the municipal level, prices jumped more than 10 per cent year-over-year in the Ontario communities of Thunder Bay, Hamilton/Burlington and St. Catharines, in Quebec's Saguenay region and in Gatineau, across the river from Ottawa.

"While certainly not gangbuster numbers, these are respectable turnouts given the volatile economic backdrop that has characterized the global economy this year," Francis Fong of TD Economics said in a note.

Fong said that when the final numbers come in for all of 2011, he expects housing prices will show a seven to eight per cent rise for the year. Next year, though, he's forecasting a one to two per cent drop amid a deceleration in income and job growth.

A recent report in the Economist magazine suggests Canadian homes are 29 per cent overvalued, rising at one of the fastest paces among the 20 countries surveyed. Since 2007, prices are up 22 per cent, it determined.

Vancouver is most expensive by far

Once again, the country's most expensive homes by far were in Vancouver, where the average non-seasonally-adjusted sale price in November was more than $728,000. That beat Victoria at $499,676, B.C.'s Fraser Valley at $478,968 and Toronto at $480,421. The cheapest homes were in Trois-Rivières, Que., at $147,046.

Sales volumes nationally were up five per cent over last year, while the number of new listings increased 2.7 per cent. Compared with the month before, however, November saw a slowdown in new listings by a seasonally adjusted 3.4 per cent.

CREA's figures are based on properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service.

Average residential home resale price

Region Nov. 2011 Nov. 2010 Change
Canada $360,396 $344,442 +4.6%


$728,118 $699,009 +4.2%
Calgary $398,722 $398,619 0.0%
Edmonton $319,559 $318,538 +0.3%
Regina $273,243 $265,590 +2.9%
Winnipeg $236,127 $226,886 +4.1%
Toronto $480,421 $437,999 +9.7%
Ottawa $347,675 $325,150 +6.9%
Montreal $322,808 $305,042 +5.8%
Halifax-Dartmouth $262,714 $252,554 +4.0%
Nfld. & Labrador $260,902 $232,985 +12.0%
Source: CREA
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