Only 3 Canadian Real Estate Markets Are Still Printing Peak Prices

Canadian real estate markets are cooling down in almost every region. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show the price of a typical (a.k.a. benchmark) home fell in April 2019. Despite some large annual growth in a few markets, only 3 real estate markets are printing new highs.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Are Down Less Than A Point

The price of a typical home across Canada barely moved from last year. The national benchmark price fell to $621,700 in April, down 0.34% from last year. Prices are now down 1.49% from the all-time peak. The annual decline was due largely to weakness across Western Canada. Prices remained close to peak due to only three real estate markets. All three underperformed the national benchmark, but brought the price floor higher.

Canadian Real Estate Benchmark Change

The 12 month price in change of a typical home across Canada.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Only 3 Canadian Real Estate Markets Hit New Highs

Last month’s biggest gainers were also the only markets to hit a new all-time high. Montreal made the biggest gain with the benchmark hitting $360,900 in April, up 6.34% from last year. Niagara followed with the price of a typical home reaching $404,500, up 6.21% from last year. Hamilton followed at $598,700, up 4.6% from last year. Somewhat surprising to see only three markets reach new highs in April. All three markets are also below the national number.

Canadian Real Estate Benchmark Price

The price of a typical home in Canada’s largest real estate markets.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Made The Largest Drop In Canada

The largest annual declines were made in Vancouver, Barrie, and Calgary. The price of a typical home in Greater Vancouver fell to $1,008,400 in April, down 8.51% form the same month last year. Barrie followed with prices falling to $459,800, down 5.27% from last year. Calgary, which has been in the dumps for awhile, fell to $411,100, down 4.95% from last year.

Canadian Real Estate Price Change – 1 Year

The 1 year percent change in the price of a typical home, in Canada’s largest markets.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Western Canada Leads In Declines From Peak

Two Western Canadian real estate markets led in declines, followed by a GTA suburb. A typical Regina home fell to $262,200 in April, down 14.79% from its peak – the largest decline in Canada. Edmonton followed with home prices falling to $320,900, down 14.15% from peak. Barrie’s benchmark home fell to $459,800, down 13.69% from last year. Western Canadian real estate markets round out the next 3 largest declines. This indicates a stronger than typical weakness in Western Canada… or greater than typical exuberance in Eastern Canada. Still a little unclear.

Canadian Real Estate Price Change From Peak

The percent change from peak pricing for a typical home in Canada’s largest markets.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.


Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Down From Peak

Toronto and Vancouver real estate didn’t make the top or bottom of the peak list. Toronto’s benchmark home fell to $789,100 in April, up 3.17% from last year. Prices in the region are still down 3.2% from peak. Vancouver’s benchmark fell to $1,008,400, down 8.51% from last year. Prices in the region are down 8.71% from peak prices. Both markets are smack dab in the middle of performance from peak.

Canadian real estate prices made a small decline from last year, and are down a touch more from peak. There are a couple of exceptions, but markets with the largest growth this year, saw the largest declines last year. This is clear when you look at how far they are from their peak price high. Since Western Canadian real estate markets led the way higher, it’ll be interesting to see if they lead the way lower.

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  • Trevor 4 years ago

    lol @ Montreal. No density problems, immigration isn’t nearly as high – it’s 100% due to excess credit within the bounds of incomes. This is a Bank of Canada incompetence problem.

    • Trader Jim 4 years ago

      Niagara and Hamilton are leading the country in growth? Yeah, it’s a credit bubble.

    • Mtl_matt 4 years ago

      Just to get this straight, Montreal price increases are strictly due to monetary policy, and Vancouver/Toronto strictly due to immigration? No canadian born person in either of those city borrowed a shitload of money to buy their home? Montreal’s house price to income is still significantly below national average at 44.5% of median household income, vs 84.7% for Vancouver and 66.1% for Toronto. While it’s true that the greater Montreal could practically expand with no limit, the city proper (which I assume relate to these stats) is built up to the rivers and other city limits (west side). There’s still some lots in prime area that can be converted to high density residential, but it won’t take much development to have to start bulldozing existing buildings to keep growing.

      Where does the lowest unemployment in Quebec since records began in 1976 fit into your thesis?

      • SUMSKILLZ 4 years ago

        My mom’s street on the south shore of Montreal, is seeing a huge change in demographics. Every home bought, brings new To Quebec, folks and more mixing of social classes. This is fantastic. Some folks are panicking though, hopefully they’ll calm down. I can see the stares at the Marche.

        Its still weird to me after seeing homes sit unsold for three, four and five years prior to 2018. Now the flippers are all over the scene, and stuff is moving fast. I never though I’d see that in my lifetime. I’ve known addresses to be on the market for a decade plus. For decades, what ever Toronto was, Montreal area was the opposite. Now I see nothing but deja vue.

  • Matthieu P 4 years ago

    Montreal prices are still affordable, don’t confuse it with Toronto or Vancouver. Dual income households can easily purchase a detached home without bankrupting themselves.

    • SUMSKILLZ 4 years ago

      I know a lot of Montreal people i grew up with, and their salaries are less than 50% of what they would make in Toronto area…and their taxes are higher. A lot of Montrealers are wondering who the hell is buying all these tiny $475 000 condos? Who can afford that? The buildings were few, an mainly in the core and Nuns Island…now they are everywhere.

  • Fraser 4 years ago

    What a bout Ottawa, the prices have been crazy for over 15 years now…up, up, up and away…?

    • Joseph 4 years ago

      Based on
      from 2004 to 2018, prices in Ottawa went from $235k to $407k. Ya, it’s no Toronto, but that’s significant. Especially when the house prices on the other side of the river in Gatineau are $100k’s cheaper AND larger with the difference in price.

      I’m not sure why Ottawa wasn’t mentioned. Not enough houses move? Seems there’s not enough supply on the market.

      • Smaug 4 years ago

        My understanding is the local realtor boards in Ottawa and Winnipeg don’t have HPIs, so when BD compares HPIs, they’re left out. I could be wrong (that is often the case when I think I “understand” something).

        • Joseph 4 years ago

          Makes sense. That’s why I keep going to the website I provided above. As I think it’s been created by realtors, I’m not entirely confident in what it puts out there.

          Thanks for that input.

  • Rick Abrams 4 years ago

    In Canada, people seem to have two choices: own or rent. [In Los Angeles, we have the third choice of being homeless and living on the streets.] Unless there is a significant surge in the number of people in the “home securing market” (via renting or buying), there should be no upward pressure on prices. If people transition from renting to buying due to easy credit, then rents should be decreasing as the demand for rental units decreases.

    Has Canada had a significant increase in the domestic “home securing market”? Has it it had significant increase in foreigners’ entering the “Home securing market”?

    If there has been no significant increase in the “home securing market,” then why are housing prices high?

    Inn Los Angeles, fraud is a factor, the corrupt city council is another factor, but Los Angeles’s problems do not seem replicated in Canada. Density, however, tends to increase housing prices all other things being equal. Also money laundering also increases the demand for housing without a population increase.

  • Andrew Moore 4 years ago

    I live in Ottawa and I’m curious why the Ottawa market was not included? The story seems incomplete and possibly misleading without Ottawa included.

    • Trevor 4 years ago

      There’s a comment above explaining these are composite benchmarks. If Ottawa’s wasn’t available for the month, it wouldn’t be included. It has one of the most opaque real estate stats in the country, with not all that much volume. Yes, I know – you live in Ottawa, so it’s the best and it’s SO busy. But it’s really not in the grand scheme of things.

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