Residential real estate in Canada slowed through the first quarter compared to the same time last year.
The Royal LePage House Price Survey revealed that, early last year, Canada went through the most pointed housing correction since the Great Recession in 2008, and while signs of recovery manifested in late 2018, they have since receded.
Year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019, national home price growth decelerated considerably to 2.7%, and prices in western Canada are slated to henceforth decline. The Greater Toronto Area, the largest regional housing market in the country, is showing signs of stability, much of which is propelled by low inventory. Additionally buoyed by an ameliorating job market, Ontario carried the national average, which would have been 0.4% without it. Toronto’s median home prices increased 5.8% year-over-year during Q1 2019.
“The City of Toronto is still one of Canada’s fastest appreciating real estate markets,” said Phil Soper, Royal LePage’s president CEO. “Detached home prices are still rising in line with inflation, but condominium prices are increasing at nearly double-digit levels as vertical living has become the primary new-build option in this growing, world-class city.”
Although British Columbia’s economy is robust, its housing market’s well-documented struggles persist. During the first quarter of this year, Greater Vancouver home prices declined year-over-year for the first time in seven years, with the aggregate price declining 1.5% to $1,239,306.
“The Greater Vancouver area remains one of the most desirable places to live in the world,” said Soper. “Population growth is driving household formation and employment levels are high. Yet policy intervention has induced a drop in home sales to levels not seen in three decades. Hammering consumer confidence and artificially choking off demand with a series of new taxes and restrictive regulations doesn’t eliminate the need for new housing, it simply sidelines families in the short-term and fuels a disruptive boom-bust cycle.”
Tellingly, some of Greater Vancouver’s most desirable regions have witnessed dipping housing prices. High-end submarkets, like West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, and the City of Vancouver, are all declining, and that has, in effect, produced a rare opportunity for luxury homebuyers.
Montreal is, however, enjoying a prosperous housing market the likes of which Toronto and Vancouver enjoyed in recent years. Aggregate home prices in Greater Montreal rose 5.5% year-over-year to reach $406,332. In fact, the rate of home price appreciation outpaced the national average, as well as rates in the GTA and Greater Vancouver.