Canadian Condo Prices Peaked In April, Only Three Major Markets Now At Peak

Canadian real estate hasn’t been this busy in a long time, yet condo apartment prices are sliding. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows condo apartment prices have fallen during the pandemic. While prices are still up in August, compared to last year – they generally peaked in April. Only three markets have been able to push to a new high as of last month.

Canadian Condo Apartment Prices Peaked In April

The price of a typical condo apartment across Canada, peaked right after the pandemic broke out. The aggregate benchmark reached $478,700 in August, up 6.45% from last year. This number is down about $700, or 0.15%, from the all-time record high reached in April 2020. As you might expect, not everywhere moved in the same direction. Three markets were able to push condo prices to a new all-time high.

Canadian Condo Benchmark Price

The benchmark price of a condo apartment for selected real estate markets.
Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Only 3 Major Major Condos Markets Are At All-Time Highs

Three markets peaked at a new all-time high for real estate prices, but only one was above the aggregate. Ottawa’s benchmark apartment reached $371,700 in August, up 21.31% from last year. Montreal reached $317,000, up 14.65% from last year. Oakville hit $612,400, up 10.34% from last year. 

Canadian Condo Prices Vs Peak Price

The price of a typical condo apartment in Canada’s largest real estate markets, compared to their peak price..
Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Toronto Condo Prices Peaked In April 2020

Greater Toronto is one of the condo apartment markets to slip at the start of the pandemic. The price of a typical condo reached $592,900 in August, up 8.91% from the same month last year. Prices peaked in April 2020, and have fell $9,000 lower since then – a drop of about 1.50% from peak. Not far from peak, but the pressure from rising inventory is greater than that of sales.

Vancouver Condo Prices Peaked In June… 2018

Greater Vancouver’s condo market made its annual peak earlier this year, but last saw the all-time high 2 years ago.  The benchmark price of a condo apartment is $685,800 in August, up 4.49% from the same month last year. The annual price peak was in March, and prices are now $4,200, or 0.61%, lower since then. The all-time high was actually in June 2018 though, and prices have fallen $35,500 (4.92%) since that point. Not huge, but enough that those with minimum down payments may be close to underwater. 


3 Condo Markets Are Down More Than 25% From All-Time Highs

While some markets are hitting all-time highs, some condo markets are still falling after over half a decade. Edmonton made the biggest drop with a typical condo benchmark at $183,900 in August, down 30.10% from the all-time high in June 2007. Regina follows with the second biggest drop with a benchmark at $174,800, down 29.17% from the high in July 2012. St Johns, Newfoundland fell to $236,200, down 25.35% from the high in March 2013. Worth mentioning despite a favorable lending environment juicing prices, these markets are still lower than just a year before. 

Most Canadian Condo Markets Are Down From Peak Prices

The percent difference between the price of a typical condo in July 2020, and the all-time high.
Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The country’s condo apartment market is extremely different from detached homes right now, and a little more varied. Despite being very active for sales, Toronto and Vancouver have seen condo apartment prices fall during the pandemic. Meanwhile more affordable markets like Montreal and Ottawa are seeing prices launch higher. Markets that rose with peak oil prices, also appear to have died with it as well.

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  • Sam 4 years ago

    The decline in inner-city (in this case, Toronto) is explained in the following article as essentially millennials fleeing the inner city to more affordable, larger housing in the suburbs or “exburbs”….like Hamilton, Barrie etc. Apparently the pandemic has changed their outlook from small-spaced, inner-city hipster living to larger-home, backyard, home-office suburban living.

    However, I can’t help but think that all this real-estate activity, with bidding wars, rising prices etc for single homes fueled by low rates and upheld by government hand-outs can’t last. If we were heading toward a correction before the pandemic, how much more since….?

    Am I wrong in thinking this fomo housing stampede is akin to those who continued dancing long after the Titanic struck the ice-berg?…..or is my understanding of market fundamentals just too out-dated for the “new economy”?

  • LT 4 years ago

    Heard an agent the other day say people are calling off the hook to list their properties.

    I don’t think he realized what that meant.

  • Sam 4 years ago

    Financial Post article says the cause is millennials leaving the city life for larger, more secluded exburban houses with backyards, home offices etc to weather the 2nd wave. Also, lack of business for AirBnB’s.

    I still get the feeling that all this market activity is akin to people dancing away long after the Titanic hit the iceberg….I could be wrong but doesn’t a balloon expand the most rapidly just before bursting?

    • Paul 4 years ago

      The millennial narrative is just the current spin. Two years ago they had no money to buy a home because they spent too much money on eating out and entertainment. Now they are responsible for one of the largest real estate shifts in recent years? You can’t have both broke millennials and millennials leading a trend. It’s the last of the great white flight from city centres which already happened to some of the larger American cities decades ago. They cash out and move out. Condos are sliding not because people want space but because there are too many and not enough buyers. Couple that with crazy building costs and you have a poor recovery position for speculators and flippers. The buyers who helped pump the market have since cashed out and moved the money somewhere else. The masses can posit which demographic that is but I’m pretty certain who and what. I’d say let the cost of carrying units eat away until the last of the hopefuls have to list. Because condos aren’t houses they are a totally different metric. The ideal selling price for one should be around 3-350k. If this is a bubble then we will most likely see it as people try to cover their losses. As far as I’m concerned the investors already bought theirs and if they aren’t losing money they will be soon.

      • SH 4 years ago

        Can’t argue with your analysis and I’d add that Toronto is in the midst of a crime wave, with the number of shootings in 2019 triple the number in 2014 (and likely even worse in 2020). The flight to the suburbs is just beginning as well-off people who care about their kids’ safety will leave in droves.

  • Kolf 4 years ago

    No economy in the world ended well with real estate bubble. The sooner we pop this bubble the better it is for everyone. We either end up like HongKong with riot and violence or like Iceland. Time to let the prices come down this cycle.

    • Groot 4 years ago

      100% agree but no politician has the balls to let this happen. They just kept kicking the can down the road and let the next guy deal with the problem. It’s a game of hot potato and the last one holding it will take the heat for his/her predecessors actions.

  • Sreenivasan V. 4 years ago

    Put plainly, may I know what will be the cost of a 2 b h k flat in proper Toronto in a well organized condo, with applicable taxes. An areawise indication of prices will be highly appreciated.

    • Gob 4 years ago

      You can always look it up yourself, or ask in English

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