Canadian Condo Markets Have Seen Prices Rise Up To $116,000

Canadian condo prices had a slow start compared to detached homes, but they’re now ripping higher. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows prices hit a record high in April. The typical condo apartment has seen prices advance by double digits just last month. Some markets have now produced annual gains well into the six digits.

Condo Prices Rise Over $14,000 In A Month

Canadian condo apartment prices reached a new record high last month. The benchmark, or typical, condo price reached $511,500 in April, up 2.94% ($14,600) from a month before. This brings prices 8.48% ($40,000) higher than the same month a year before. Looking at the rate of growth, you can see how sharply prices increased in January. It really needs to be seen to be appreciated. 

Canadian Condo Benchmark Change

The 12-month percent change in the price of a typical condo apartment across Canada.
Source: CREA; Better Dwelling.

See the sharp reversal after January? That’s right around when the Bank of Canada began to say home price growth is needed. Now combine that with the Federal government stating they’ll protect home equity. In this environment, it’s easy to see how the moral hazard piled on very quickly.

Condo Prices Rise Up To $31,800 In A Month

The largest monthly price increase for condo apartments was in Southern Ontario. Southern Georgian Bay made the biggest dollar move with condo prices at $418,100 in April. This is 8.23% ($31,800) higher than a month before. Barrie came in second with the benchmark price reaching $447,800, up 6.11% ($25,800). The Niagara region made the third-largest dollar climb at $431,500, up 4.94% ($20,300) over the same period. In a single month, condo prices increased up to $31,800 — in regions more than an hour away from a major city. 

Canadian Monthly Condo Price Change

The monthly change in condo apartment prices for April 2021.
Source: CREA; Better Dwelling.

Condo Prices Rise Up To $116,700 In A Year

The largest annual dollar increase for condo prices was also in Southern Ontario. Oakville condos hit a benchmark price of $691,600 in April, up 20.30% ($116,700) from last year — the biggest in the country. Cambridge came in second with the benchmark at $586,200, up 22.48% ($107,600) from last year. Niagara rounds out the top three with the benchmark hitting $431,500, up 30.56% ($101,000) over the same period. For context, this is the most affordable form of ownership in these regions. In just one year, prices increased more than the median annual household income.

Canadian Annual Condo Price Change

The annual change in condo apartment prices for April 2021.
Source: CREA; Better Dwelling.

Toronto Condos See 80% of Annual Price Increase Just Last Month

Toronto condo prices made large increases, they just look small in this environment. The benchmark in the greater region hit $627,600 in April, up 3.31% ($20,100) from the same month a year before. Compared to a year before, prices are 4.27% ($25,700) higher. The monthly increase is the 4th largest, and the annual was the 20th. In case you didn’t notice, almost 80% of annual gains were produced in just April.

Vancouver condo prices also made a large jump, but don’t quite compare to cities in Southern Ontario. The benchmark price of a condo hit $729,600 in April, up 1.93% ($13,800) from the month before. Prices are now 5.92% ($40,800) higher compared to the same month a year before. The monthly increase is the 11th largest, and the annual is the 16th biggest. That places the region’s condo performance right in the middle.  

Canadian condo prices had a boring 2020, but suddenly every market is hot. Detached homes are now firmly out of reach in many markets, leading to lock out fears. Condos are likely perceived to be the last chance at ownership for many.

It doesn’t appear to matter where either, because small cities are rising faster than big ones. This is quickly closing the gap, meaning commuting may not be as much of a deal as it used to be. Buyers are likely trying to grab onto whatever they can, since various officials have sent the message they’ll work to protect equity.

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