New evidence points to a sustained recovery in major Canadian housing markets: report

It’s not just a blip on the Canadian housing radar.

The recent stability seen in some of Canada’s biggest markets is here to stay, suggests one of the country’s leading real estate companies.

The top executive of Royal LePage makes the observation with the release of the franchiser’s national House Price Survey for the second quarter, according to which the median price of a Canadian home increased by 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

“We now have evidence of a sustained market recovery in some of the nation’s largest markets, and signs of a price floor in other regions hit hard by the eighteen month-old housing correction,” says Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage.

Large markets in Ontario and Quebec bolstered numbers on the national level, a trend that is expected to play out for the rest of the year.

In the second quarter, Greater Toronto’s aggregate home price — a weighted average of median house and condo-apartment prices — was $841,729, up 2.6 percent annually.

Meantime, Ottawa prices increased 6.2 percent year-over-year to $474,049 and Greater Montreal prices surged 5.8 percent $410,828, according to the survey of 63 local markets from coast to coast.

Looking ahead, these markets are expected to carry the torch for the Canadian market.

Royal LePage forecasts fourth-quarter Greater Toronto home prices will sit at $844,819 for an annual gain of 1.4 percent. The aggregate price is expected to rise 4.5 percent to $419,561 in Greater Montreal and 1.6 percent to $477,542 in Ottawa.

Price gains weren’t limited to central Canada. Atlantic Canada has shown renewed strength in some markets. Charlottetown’s aggregate was $295,699 between April and June, up 3 percent, which was surpassed by Halifax’s 3.4 percent rise to $328,023.

“Only in the West do we see a significant number of home buyers remaining on the sidelines, depressing sales volumes and causing prices to sag,” says Royal LePage’s Soper.

Greater Vancouver prices trended lower, with the aggregate slumping 4.1 percent to settle at $1,208,674. Calgary’s aggregate plunged 5 percent to $460,089.

The outlook for these markets looks somewhat brighter, as some job growth is expected in Alberta next year and BC’s economy remains strong, signalling home sales — and eventually prices — may begin making up lost ground.

Nonetheless, Royal LePage anticipates Q4 year-over-year drops of 5.5 percent for Greater Vancouver and 3.6 percent in Calgary.

“Buoyed by supportive economic conditions, many stubborn homeowners in B.C. and Alberta remain unwilling to let their precious real estate go for less than what they perceive as fair value, which has gone a long way to protecting existing home values,” he adds.

Ian Clark

Ian Clark is a graduate of The College of The North Atlantic's School of Business and is a Mortgage Broker with East Coast Mortgage Brokers. Prior to ECMB, Ian was brokering with Mortgage Alliance Provincial Mortgage Group. Ian is also an active member of Mortgage Professionals Canada, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, Canadian Progress Club and the Mount Pearl Paradise Chamber of Commerce.