Vancouver Real Estate Is No Longer The Country’s Most Expensive Market

Canadian real estate prices are moving higher seasonally, but the annual change is diving further down. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show prices made an annual decline in May. The decline didn’t have a significant impact, with a number of markets even printing an all-time high. However, the decline does demonstrate a major shift in markets across the country. The largest and best performing markets are now falling, while smaller, underperforming markets are starting to surge.

Canadian Real Estate Price Growth Continues A Downtrend

The price of a typical home across Canada has made the largest 12 month decline in almost a decade. CREA numbers show the typical home across Canada has reached a benchmark price of $624,400 in May, up 0.43% from the month before. This represents a decline of 0.64% from the same month last year. The miniscule decline might not mean much in dollar values, but it does continue an interesting trend.

Canadian Real Estate Benchmark Change

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

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The 12 month rate of growth is continuing a downtrend. Last month the rate of decline improved, potentially indicating a change in direction. This month’s change was so large, it wiped out the shrinking pace, and continued in the previous direction. The 12 month rate of growth is now the lowest it’s been since August 2009. Not a huge amount in terms of dollar values, but worth watching to see if it can break out of a downtrend.

Vancouver Real Estate Is The Biggest Loser In the Country

Markets that underperformed in recent years are still leading in price increases. The Ottawa benchmark reached $420,300 in May, up 8.02% from last year – the largest increase in the country. Montreal followed with a benchmark price of $363,400, up 6.29% from last year. Guelph reached $547,200, up 5.65% from the year before. Both Ottawa and Montreal grew at half the pace of the rest of the country over the past 5 years. Guelph is an exception, growing at nearly 2.5x Montreal during the same period.

Canadian Real Estate Benchmark Price

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

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Lower Mainland is still being hit hard, as well as a distant Toronto suburb. Vancouver’s benchmark fell to $1,006,400 in May, down 8.88% from last year – the biggest drop in the country. Barrie’s typical home followed with a benchmark of $466,600, down 6.14% from last year. Fraser Valley came in third with a benchmark of $832,500, down 5.92% from last year. Vancouver’s decline means it gives up the throne as Canada’s most expensive real estate market, giving it up to Oakville, Ontario. For those that don’t know where Oakville is, it’s better known as the traffic jam between Toronto and Niagara Falls.

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.

A few markets reached a new peak in August. Ottawa, Montreal, Guelph, Niagara, Hamilton, and Victoria all reached peaks. Only two of those real estate markets have a global presence.

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.

On the other side of that stat are central Canadian real estate markets, and Barrie. The typical home in Edmonton reached $322,900 in May, down 13.62% from the all-time high for the city. Regina followed with a benchmark of $266,500, down 13.39% from their market peak. Barrie had the third biggest drop at $466,600, down 12.41% from the market’s peak.

Generally, the market is following a trend set last year. The country’s largest and hottest markets are cooling, while markets that underperformed are making huge strides.

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  • LOL 5 years ago

    Buh Bye! Enjoy the top spot Oakville, it’s not what you think.

  • Margeret 5 years ago

    Guelph is growing at 2.5x Montreal, and people think that’s normal? That’s going to be a bit of a shocker for them when they realize, you know… they’re a blip on a map no one’s ever heard of.

    • Mac 5 years ago

      Good way to point out it’s not about density. Density occurs as building increases, which occurs when prices are high. High prices create density in cities, not the other way around.

      Until they can longer find people to cram into them, which is why there’s always a big overhang.

    • Doug 5 years ago

      Why is Guelph on this list but not Waterloo? The Waterloo region has over a half million‘s and is a much hotter market than most of southern Ontario yet it’s not even on this list

      And where the hell is aggregate ????

      • GTA Landlord 5 years ago

        Waterloo is so small it’s combined with Guelph. When boards are that small, they don’t have benchmarks. You can’t compare non-normalized stats to normalized ones.

        It’s also not that hot. Combined the board is combined with Kitchener, and is still smaller by sales volume than some neighbourhoods in Toronto.

  • MM 5 years ago

    Loads of foreign investors and Money Laundering leaving Regina and Barrie ?

    Who knew Regina was so over valued.

    • Bay Street Guy 5 years ago

      It’s pretty rough out in Sask right now. Climate change is pushing back their crop season, longer dry periods are making huge delays. Winters aren’t as long and cold, so insect infestations are also pretty a pretty big deal.

      I know that doesn’t sound like it would impact an urban area, but Sask is an agri-province. Poor yields resulting in a lot less cash circulating.

      • ToonTown 5 years ago

        Winters weren’t as long and cold? You must not be from Saskatchewan.

    • MM's Mom 5 years ago

      I know you’re trying to be sarcastic, but money laundering and foreign investors were a big issue in Sask long before it was an apparent issue in BC.

  • MH 5 years ago

    “For those that don’t know where Oakville is, it’s better known as the traffic jam between Toronto and Niagara Falls.”

    That’s because everyone in the world wants to live there. Do you know how many people from Vancouver want to immigrate to Oakville these days? Pretty much everyone. So do your homework before making jokes about the world-class city of Oakville.*

    * This post may contain sarcasm.

    • Bluetheimpala 5 years ago

      This is funny. Tock.BD4L.

    • John Davidson 5 years ago

      Good point about not insulting someone else’s domain. No call for that. However I doubt that 1 a 100 Vancouverites has even heard of Oakville yet alone wants to move there. I know it. Nice place, terrible climate. No don’t want to move there.

  • Grim Reaper 5 years ago

    Oakville is known as a center of financial fraud is it any wonder that it is the most expensive real estate?

  • FuriousGreg 5 years ago

    And the real estate associations and some in the government still claim foreign investment wasn’t the issue… A year after those foreign ownership and empty rental taxes went into effect and housing prices are falling, hopefully back to what they should be, so maybe the rest of Canada should follow BC’s lead?

  • Duo 5 years ago

    “For those that don’t know where Oakville is, it’s better known as the traffic jam between Toronto and Niagara Falls.” Oakville is closer to Guelph than to Niagara Falls, not to mention the nearly dozen communities – on the QEW alone – between the two cities. Learn how to read a map.

  • GB 5 years ago

    What about Winnipeg real estate prices?

    • Mtl_matt 5 years ago

      Sorry, the courier with the stats got stabbed.

    • Aaron 5 years ago

      Winnipeg isn’t included in any national index because of the private land registry. Even the Teranet index doesn’t have Winnipeg numbers.

      Private land registries are great ways to ensure it’s completely cost ineffective for the public to know what’s happening in your market, until it’s over inflated. It’s also perfect for money laundering, since even the government has to pay to analyze it. Try telling your boss you need a few hundred thousand because you have a hunch there’s money laundering in a city

  • Zenity 5 years ago

    They don’t realize the fundamentals. Canada especially Toronto basically have too much land. With Canada’s economy based on high taxation and universal health care, the system itself is designed to transfer wealth from young people to keep boomers alive. Now with this housing bubble we are doing further wealth transfer where young families have to take on huge mortgages and pay high taxes.

    Once smart people start to realize what is going on those that have in demand skills will leave. Taking their taxes for future decades and consumer spending with them. The best always leave first because they have the choice. eventually you will be left with low skill labor that you can’t really tax then the health care system goes and the boomers get screw anyways.

    The best way for a society to build wealth is to give resources to young productive talent so they can create business and other ventures. Not tax and suck all their income and transfer it to old and non productive segments of society. If the housing price don’t come down Canada is headed for economic collapse soon.

    I urge all young families to be responsible for you and your families future and consider other places where cost of living is not so high.
    Or wake up organise and fight back against the system.

  • Peter Viducis 5 years ago

    One of the reasons that the number of units under construction has increased in the last 25 years is that the percentage of high rise units has risen a lot. 40 storey condos take a lot longer to build than single family houses.

    • Mortgage Guy 5 years ago

      You do understand that Toronto is also about to make record completions too, right? Every Realtor in the province knows supply has to overshoot demand.

      That’s why condo bubbles are more prominent and worse when it comes to oversupply. The long construction demand, especially when half are funded by investors, means they have to overshoot the business cycle. It’s actually real estate 101.

  • Snarky 5 years ago

    Anyone notice the uptick in Asian sellers? Homes on the market are going up and many are student rental homes.

  • Les 5 years ago

    Yeah right! Oakville over Vancouver interesting, congrats nonetheless.

  • Steven Murray 5 years ago

    This is not a valid comparison. You are comparing a city (Oakville), with a much larger region (Greater Vancouver). If you compared Oakville with just the City of Vancouver, then Vancouver prices are much higher.

    • TO > Van 5 years ago

      It’s the Canadian Real Estate Association making the comparison, num nuts.

      If you’re going to nitpick, the City of Vancouver also isn’t comparable to most other Canadian cities either. It’s still pre-amalgamation. As opposed to Toronto which incorporated all regions in the Metro region to create the new City of Toronto in 1998. City of Vancouver is the equivalent of Toronto, excluding the other 5/6 of the City. Areas like Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, etc. are the equivalent of Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, etc.

      • Steven Murray 5 years ago

        That was essentially the point I was trying to make. Municipal boundaries are rather arbitrary and vary greatly from one region to another. The best way to make a comparison would be to compare entire metropolitan areas.

        By the way, the City of Toronto does not include the entire metropolitan area – it’s only 2.7 M out of a Census Metropolitan Area population of 5.9 M, meaning it’s about 46% of the CMA population. Based on that, if you wanted to look at an equivalent area to the City of Toronto in the Vancouver region, it would be more like Vancouver/Burnaby/New Westminster, which is also just under half of the metro area population. You certainly wouldn’t include places like Surrey.

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