Average home price in Canada soars 17 per cent

TORONTO -- Surging sales in the piping hot real estate markets of Toronto and Vancouver last month prompted one of Canada's big banks to express concerns Tuesday that the cities may be at risk of a home price correction.

See Full Article

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes rose by eight per cent in January compared to a year ago, while the national average home price soared 17 per cent.

But it was the sales figures for Vancouver and Toronto that drew considerable notice from economists.

The average sale price in greater Vancouver rose 32.3 per cent year-over-year to nearly $1.1 million, while in greater Toronto it climbed 14.2 per cent to $631,092.

The Multiple Listing Service benchmark price -- a figure that CREA says is more representative of the market -- rose to $775,300 in great Vancouver, an increase of roughly 21 per cent compared to January 2015. In greater Toronto, the benchmark price climbed roughly 11 per cent year-over-year to $578,400.

TD economist Diana Petramala said some of the strength in the Toronto and Vancouver markets may have been bolstered by buyers looking to get into the market before new mortgage down payment rules took effect Monday.

New federal regulations require larger down payments on homes that cost between $500,000 and $1 million.

"While we continue to believe that things just can't any hotter, markets in B.C. and Ontario continue to prove us wrong," Petramala said in a note to clients.

Petramala said although foreign investment and immigration are likely to provide support to the Toronto and Vancouver markets in the months ahead, she raised concerns about whether sky-high home prices in those regions are sustainable over the long term.

"Every month of double-digit home price growth raises the risk of a deeper home price correction down the road," Petramala said.

A correction is defined as a drop in value of at least 10 per cent.

The price gains in Vancouver and Toronto fuelled a rise in Canada's national average home price in January to $470,297, CREA said.

When excluding Ontario and British Columbia, however, the average sale price actually edged lower by 0.3 per cent from a year ago to $286,911.

Regional differences stemming from the impact of the oil price shock are likely to continue throughout this year, said BMO economist Robert Kavcic.

"Those markets exposed to oil prices are correcting," he said in a note.

"The uber-tight big-two cities are benefiting from lower interest rates than we otherwise would have seen had oil prices not fallen, while everyone else is scattered in between."

On a month-to-month, seasonally adjusted basis, CREA says national home sales rose 0.5 per cent in January, compared to December of last year.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings on MLS declined by 4.9 per cent in January compared to December.

"Tighter mortgage regulations that take effect in February may shrink the pool of prospective homebuyers who qualify for mortgage financing and cause national sales activity to ease in the months ahead," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said in a statement.


Latest Economic News

  • Trump's goal of 'energy dominance' could change the global balance of power

    Economic CBC News
    Fuelled by technological breakthroughs and cuts to taxes and regulation, the United States is on target to become the world's biggest producer of crude oil in the next five years. Let that sink in. The U.S will be bigger than Russia and Saudi Arabia. Source
  • How to avoid spending money on unnecessary oil changes

    Economic CBC News
    Oil changes are by far the most common service performed on vehicles in Canada. Customers pay quick lube facilities, private garages and dealer maintenance centres well over a billion dollars a year for the service. But a CBC investigation finds many of us may be changing our oil far more often than automakers require. Source
  • Trans Mountain protester arrested, one day after court grants injunction

    Economic CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. -- Burnaby RCMP say they arrested a woman who chained herself to a work truck Friday morning, one day after the B.C. Supreme Court granted Trans Mountain an injunction against demonstrators. Just before 8 a.m. Source
  • Enbridge, TransCanada shares flat after steep dive due to U.S. tax ruling

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Shares in Canadian pipeline companies Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp. failed to recover fully Friday from a steep sell-off on Thursday after the U.S. said it would eliminate a tax break for owners of certain interstate pipelines. Source
  • WestJet union drive helped by unhappiness with pay formula, says flight attendant

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A WestJet flight attendant says rules that effectively pay starting workers less than minimum wage because they're compensated only for time in the air is helping shore up support for a union drive at Canada's second-largest airline. Source
  • Sask. premier blasts 'mind-boggling' rail backlog of grain shipments

    Economic CTV News
    REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says it's mind-boggling that grain shipments have been delayed again by rail backlogs this year. Moe told the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities on Friday that this is the second time in four years that grain shipments have been delayed. Source
  • Canadian CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The United States has arrested the chief executive of Phantom Secure, a Canadian privacy and security firm, alleging the Vancouver-area resident has conspired to provide drug traffickers with modified BlackBerry smartphones to evade law enforcement. Source
  • $1.6B contract one of three awarded for Site C dam in northeastern B.C.

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A $1.6 billion contract has been awarded for construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia, just three months after the province's NDP government reluctantly allowed the megaproject to continue. Source
  • Canadian dollar sinks to 76.35 cents US — lowest level since June 2017

    Economic CBC News
    The Canadian dollar continued its slide this week to fall to a nine-month low as it headed for its worst week against the U.S. dollar in over a year. The loonie was trading at 76.41 cents US on Friday afternoon, which is its lowest level since June last year and was down over 0.4 per cent from Thursday's average price of 76.73 cents US. Source
  • BMO joins TD in banning customers from buying bitcoin on credit cards

    Economic CBC News
    The Bank of Montreal has stopped allowing customers to use its credit cards to buy cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. The bank says it no longer allows retail consumers to buy cryptocurrencies using Mastercard-branded credit or debit cards. Source