Canadian Real Estate Prices Hit An All-Time High, But Gains Are Rapidly Decelerating

Canadian Real Estate Prices Hit An All-Time High, But Gains Are Rapidly Decelerating

Canadian real estate prices have spiked to a new high. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show prices across the country ripped higher in March. Despite the good news for sellers, gains are tapering at an alarming rate.

The Price of A Typical Home In Canada Has Never Been Higher

The price of an aggregate benchmark (a.k.a. typical) home, made a huge single month leap in March. The benchmark reached $652,400 across Canada, a 1.14% increase from the month before. That represents a 4.6% increase compared to the same month last year. The benchmark is now printing an all-time high, beating the previous record set last July. Remember, this is an aggregate benchmark, which includes condos as well. Not just detached homes.

Source: Statistics Canada. Better Dwelling.

Canadian Real Estate Price Gains Are Rapidly Decelerating

The increase has a few caveats worth noting, one of the most interesting being price deceleration. The annual increase of 4.6% is a huge gain, but it’s the lowest increase since December 2013. People should also note how quickly this trend is tapering. The rate of growth has declined 74.78% over the past 11 months. The gain is very large, but the pace at which they’re declining should be read as a sign of caution.

Source: Statistics Canada. Better Dwelling.

But… Toronto Real Estate Prices Are Falling

We know, Toronto’s composite prices are falling, how can the rest of the country be increasing? The aggregate benchmark price is a weighted index of cities by regions, and Toronto sales are declining very quickly. Toronto sales represented 21.3% of sales in the country last year, and only 16.5% of sales this year. Smaller regions are seeing sales rise, and prices with them. This brings up the floor of prices across the country, as lower priced homes in far off regions disappear. Too wordy? Lower priced markets (like Edmonton) climbed last month, meaning the cheapest homes in the average are rising.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

National prices aren’t all that useful for homebuyers looking for local pricing. Just because home prices are falling in Toronto, doesn’t mean you give a damn in Calgary. However, rising prices across the country, likely mean Toronto and Vancouver’s buyer exuberance has spread to other regions. When even Edmonton is at risk of overbuilding, but seeing prices climb – we’re seeing a national exuberance problem getting worse.

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  • Trader Jim 6 years ago

    Sloppy setup with that deceleration, good call. Near impossible to reverse that drop without a drastic change like 40 year mortgages.

    Edmonton resales are up while they’re trying to dump new construction to investors? Nice.

    • TMT 6 years ago

      Rising condo prices are driving these numbers higher, so they’re right, it’s the floor. The problem with rising condo prices are these are most likely to be the poorest residents in the country, which think it’s their first step up the property ladder, but likely the fastest way for them to stall by overpaying.

  • TO Investor 6 years ago

    This is why Toronto’s decline is just temporary. The whole country is seeing prices rise, while Toronto declines. Not realistic, since Toronto is literally the centre of this country’s economy.

    • MH 6 years ago

      Everything is temporary… including the obsession with real estate. Who knew that reading old newspapers could be so educational…

    • Alistair McLaughlin 6 years ago

      Except the rest of the country isn’t rising. It’s flat. Only Vancouver and Toronto condos are rising, pushing up the average price very slightly.

      • Mmr 6 years ago

        prices at Ottawa raised 8 percent and Montreal too…it’s raising every where except Toronto and Vancouver. And Toronto declining fastest.

        • Alistair McLaughlin 6 years ago

          Ottawa and Montreal are the only hot markets. Detached are not hot anywhere outside those two markets. And Ottawa’s market is being seriously exaggerated by the real estate shills an uncritical media that prints realtor propaganda almost verbatim. There are pockets of Ottawa in the West and South that are hot. Otherwise, it’s pretty tame. Extremely low inventory is the problem.

          Other than that, it’s condos in Toronto and Vancouver.

    • Asterix1 6 years ago

      That comment makes no sense! RE is regional, GTA is the epicentre of this ongoing crash.

      Rest of Canada will follow with dropping prices, GTA will continue to fall with it.

      Party has been over for a while, still some clueless people buying overpriced boxes in the sky.

    • Investor 6 years ago

      Was that sarcasm or just a deliberate refusal to fully comprehend the info provided?

  • carlton 6 years ago

    Maybe T.O. investor can explain…

    How does this equal Temporary decline………Banks raised rates without BOC hiking rates (wtf), BOC 2018 rates hikes which is still on the way, B-20 stress test is in full effect, which equals less qualified buyers, banks are giving 20 percent less on average, homes sales are down 40 percent on average, inventory is rising.
    Keep investing, sounds like you got this thing figured out.

    • Yu 6 years ago

      Banks are raising rates, but variables aren’t moving. They’re likely trying to pressure people into buying sooner to “lock in” with a little FOMO. Media sure is playing it up.

    • Alistair McLaughlin 6 years ago

      Banks raised their fixed mortgage rates because the bond market yields are increasing, particularly the 5 year benchmark. They dropped variable rate slightly because the BoC, as expected, did not increase rates in April, and it looks like they may wait until July. They had inched up slightly in anticipation of a possible April or May increase that looks less likely now.

      In short, bond market determines fixed mortgage rates.
      BoC overnight lending rate determines variable mortgage rates.

      Once you understand that, all the big banks’ moves over the past week make perfect sense.

  • xelan 6 years ago

    Good news for Canada, bad news for Toronto and Vancouver because this is another piece of data to justify further rate increases and new policies.
    I won’t be surprised is new regulation will come out soon targeting specifically condo sector, preconstructions financing or some unconventional financial instruments used for condo purchases.

  • xelan 6 years ago

    Who said it will be a federal law? Who said there will be a law at all? Who said that all policies lead to supply reduction? It’s all your imagination.

    Every policy maker understands that 40% YoY price growth is unsustainable even in a short term and it will be bad for everyone – homeowners, builders and even banks.
    The question is if they will try to do anything about it or not? Time will tell.

    I don’t know where 40% YoY is coming from, I don’t see it in any stats but looks like those guys can see it somewhere:

    Does anyone have stats supporting this number?

    • Mmr 6 years ago

      40 percent is false information maybe 8 or 9 perenct most. And it’s slowing down. In future there will be very few condo project once current one dry up cause developers won’t be able to get cheap and easy finance any more in long term that’s less risk for banks.

      • xelan 6 years ago

        You have to provide links to exact stats because your “maybe” means nothing.

        I’m glad you understand that developers will face a challenge getting financing, and it’s obvious that the same thing will happen to regular households.
        Since builders are generally perform risk planning and household don’t who do you think will face financial difficulties first?

        You are speculating that financing will slow down builders before condo buyers and that’s highly questionable. If the opposite happens and condo buyers will go bankrupt first – this will be game over for everyone.

    • xelan 6 years ago

      For those who is interested, author provided false info. The source data he used indicated 40% YoY growth in benchmark price, not average price which is a big difference.

      Anyway, there is no doubt condo market is booming in GTA now.
      24% growth based on price per sq.ft. sounds more realistic.

      • gear74 6 years ago

        Actually almost all pre construction condo projects comes with assignments options. So even in the worst situation and you not going to be interested to close you can sell your assignment with nice profit, considering you purchased that condo 2 or 3 years ago.

        • xelan 6 years ago

          Really? I’ve read that assignments are pretty rare and you have to specifically request it and get approval. Builders don’t like it because it’s an extra paperwork and mess for them.
          Anyway, in a market of rising interest rates or declining property values it would be extremely hard to find someone who is ready to take over everyone’s mess.
          Both of those scenarios will affect everyone.

          Just an example, West Vancouver is now experiencing a huge slowdown and it’s very common to see there houses which are 100+days on the market.
          Probably they also thought at some point that if something goes wrong they will be able to sell their house quickly. In case of preconstruction you won’t have those extra 100+ days to sell.

  • gear74 6 years ago

    Don’t know about Vancouver market and not sure about assignment on the house but in my case I purchased 2 pre construction condos in Downtown Toronto with assignments included. Already made gains of 250000 dollars each just from the price appreciation.

    • Xelan 6 years ago

      Good for you. When have you bought those? When are you planning to sell?

      • gear74 6 years ago

        Purchased in 2015. But that’s not the point. There are a lot of bears on this website and what they fail to see that condos as the cheapest entry point will be in good demand in good and promising areas like Downtown Toronto. Now if you take in consideration how many immigrants want to come and live in Toronto I don’t see how condo prices in downtown Toronto will go Down. For sure there will be slower growth, not 25 percent but there will be growth. One more point majority of today’s immigrants are skilled immigrants. They all have a property back home whether it Europe, Russia, Israel or Latin America. They can easily sell their property back home and buy condo in Toronto plus some money will be left as we all know what are the prices in their previous countries. I am not even talking about how cheap Canadian dollar this days. So good luck betting against Downtown Toronto condos.

        • RM 6 years ago

          Nope. Sorry but the immigration narrative just doesn’t hold up. Foreign speculation maybe but that’s not the same thing. I own a condo in TO so I’m not trying to push something out there for my own benefit but the data just doesn’t support it. You can look all this up on government websites but here’s a good summary…

          • gear74 6 years ago

            I am not saying it’s immigration only. It’s a combination of young professionals, baby boomers downsizing and want to be closer to transportation and hospitals and immigrants together.

        • xelan 6 years ago

          Immigration is definitely a factor but it’s definitely not a major one. You are severely underestimate the effect of interest rates.
          I just quickly punched numbers in one of the online mortgage affordability calculators and with a very little 2% increase in interest rate you will be able to afford 20% less mortgage.

          Your mortgage payment will be the same, but because of higher interest you can borrow 20% less.
          Imagine if everyone in Canada can borrow 20% less than now who will be pushing prices higher? Immigrants? Foreign buyers?

          Interest rate is a key factor and right now it’s on it way UP. We’ve seen times when it was 15%, not just 1.25% like it is now.

  • gear74 6 years ago

    Oh and I forgot one more group. People like me and you can call them local investors that see ahead of time where downtown Toronto condos prices headed and want to secure for their kids at least condo properties in the city. Meanwhile my tenants will pay off my mortgage.

    • RM 6 years ago

      That’s fine except it’s hyperbole and speculation. I’m not saying you’re wrong, because currently you are very correct about the demand, but your theory is based on a narrative that numbers just don’t support. The issue that myself and most other regulars here is that intrinsic demand – which is only based on fundamentals like population, wages, job availability, interest rates, etc. – doesn’t support this. Everything else is theory and speculation. If you’re comfortable with that gamble, so be it, but don’t state things as facts just because you think they are. Show some numbers and we’ll all be on board.

  • gear74 6 years ago

    Well show me your numbers. What I am saying coming not only from my mouth, many analyst and people in real estate industry saying the same. At the end of the day it’s supply and demand issue.

  • vap 6 years ago

    Toronto or hogtown is going down…Van possibly next.
    The forced GST may finally affect prices. Canadians are in denial still.


    I don’t even know how I finished up here, but I thought this submit used to be great.
    I don’t recognize who you might be but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger in case you are not already.

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