A province-by-province analysis of trends and performance in 2016, and a look ahead.
“Sales set a new annual record last year,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “However, tightened mortgage regulations are expected to contribute to lower sales activity this year, though the extent to which they will weigh on housing markets across Canada will vary.”
Let’s take a look at individual province performances, based on the Canadian Real Estate Association's final data for 2016.
Home of Canada’s priciest housing market last year.
The average Vancouver home price throughout 2016 was $1,017,228, despite mortgage rule changes that led to a softening at the end of the year. The average price in December fell to $948,246 to close out the year.
The average home price in BC was $691,144 YTD – an 8.6% increase over 2015’s mark.
The energy province had a resilient year, despite being embroiled in the oil downturn.
Overall, the average home sold for 0.4% more year-to-date in 2016 than in 2015.
Still, two markets continued to struggle last year. South Central Alberta saw its average price fall 15.4% YTD in 2016 to $196,460. For McMurray’s average price dipped 11.3% to $497,396.
Sales, however, dipped 7.6% YTD in December, with a total of 52,169 homes sold in 2016.
Resilience was, once again, the key in this western market.
Despite total sales dipping 4.5% year-over-year, the average price saw a very slight 0.7% decrease. The average home sold for $295,455 in 2016.
Manitoba didn’t shatter any records in 2016, but it quietly had a solid year in terms of both sales and average price gains.
Sales were up 3.8% last year, with 14,550 homes exchanging hands. Prices, meanwhile, saw a slight 2.6% increase, with the average home selling for $277,493.
Led by Canada’s hottest housing market, Ontario had a great year overall.
The average home sold for $535,931 (+15% YTD) last year, and sales were up 9.4%, with 243,400 total sales. Toronto saw its average price skyrocket by 17.3% to $729,591 last year.
Total sales were up 7.3% YTD to close out 2016 and the average home price sold for $163,793 (+2.1% YTD).
A total of 9,876 homes were sold in 2016, up 7% YTD. The average price, meanwhile, held relatively steady at $220,737 (+0.5% YTD).
Prince Edward Island
It was a booming year for the small market, with prices jumping 11.8% to an average of $180,263 and sales by 21.6%.
Newfoundland and Labrador
A total of 4,192 homes were sold in 2016; that’s down slightly from 2015’s mark of 4,251. Prices were also down, with the average home selling for $257,589 (-6.5%).
It’s true 2016 was a record year for sales. However, a strong first few months propped up a national housing market that closed out the year at a much more sluggish pace due to housing market rule changes.
Those rules are expected to continue to influence the housing industry across the country in 2017.
“Home sales are unlikely to benefit the Canadian economy as much in 2017 as they did in 2016,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “New regulations mean that in order to qualify for a mortgage, home buyers will either have to save longer for a bigger down payment or purchase a lower priced home. In urban centres where the latter are in short supply, that’s likely to translate into fewer sales.”