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Here’s Where Home Prices Are Peaking The Most This Spring in Canada

Published 2024-05-27, 12:44 p/m

Following a seven-month decline, from June 2023 to January 2024, the national benchmark price started climbing again in February according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). By April, the national benchmark price increased further to $735,900, marking a 4% increase from the beginning of the year.

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Several major Canadian real estate markets have experienced price increases exceeding 4% from January, and when compared to last year, the price gains are even greater. With benchmark prices outpacing those of 2023 in many markets, is this year’s spring market an improvement from last year?

To find out where home prices are increasing the most, Zoocasa analyzed benchmark price data for 21 major markets across Canada and compared how prices have changed over the past year. Benchmark price data was sourced from the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Top Cities for Price Growth: Saint John, Quebec, and Winnipeg

Inventory increases across the country are helping to bring balanced conditions to most markets this spring. While that is keeping benchmark prices from escalating too much in some markets, in others, where home sales are accelerating, it’s enticing more buyers to enter the market and pushing prices up. Month-over-month sales were up by more than 15% in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Hamilton-Burlington, and Saint John’s last month, so it is no surprise that these cities are also leading the way in price gains.

Since January, the benchmark price has increased by 8.3% in Saint John, by 7.3% in Quebec CMA, and by 7% in Winnipeg. Hamilton-Burlington has experienced the greatest percentage increase since January in Ontario, with the benchmark price rising by 6.2% from $809,600 to $859,600 in April. Greater Toronto is the next fastest-growing Ontario market for benchmark prices, rising by 5.8% from January to $1,128,100.

Strong Year-Over-Year Gains in Calgary and The East Coast

Looking at year-over-year figures, Calgary’s benchmark price has risen the most based on percentages. Calgary’s April 2024 benchmark price of $587,300 is just over $50,000 higher than in April 2023, which represents an increase of 9.9%. Saint John and St. John’s follow, with year-over-year benchmark price increases of 8.1% and 7.6% respectively.

However, eight markets, including Toronto, London & St. Thomas, and Kitchener-Waterloo, aren’t yet reaching the price peaks of last year. Kitchener-Waterloo experienced the largest year-over-year drop, with the benchmark price down by 1.9% from April 2023, followed by Guelph & District at -1.7% and Niagara Region at -1.4%. These drops could be attributed to less competition in these markets, driven by many prospective buyers holding out for interest rate drops. With fewer active buyers, price gains will be more gradual and stable in these markets.

Impressive Price Growth in Single-Family Homes Across Multiple Markets

In the majority of markets we analyzed, benchmark single-family home prices increased by more than 5% since January. Once again, Saint John leads the way with the single-family home benchmark price increasing by 8.2% since January and 7.9% since April 2023. At the same time, Hamilton-Burlington, Toronto, Quebec CMA, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg all experienced single-family home price increases of more than 7% in just four months.

Though Calgary’s single-family home benchmark price increased by just 6.1% since January, it has risen by an impressive 12% since April 2023 – more than any other market we analyzed. Affordable property types have always attracted a lot of buyers in Calgary, but as the city is deep in a seller’s market, even single-family homes are facing more and more competition. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the sales-to-new listings ratio for April 2024 was 83%, indicating there is not enough supply to meet the demand of buyers, which is contributing to the significant price increase.

The Standout Cities for Condo Price Surges

Of the 21 markets we analyzed, only five experienced a year-over-year decline in the condo benchmark price, with Kitchener-Waterloo condos dropping the most year-over-year by 3.9% to $458,400. In the vast majority of markets we analyzed, however, condo prices are experiencing consistent price growth, especially in more affordable markets.

London & St. Thomas condo prices have increased by 15.3% in four months and 5.2% since April 2023, making this a notable market for both first-time buyers and investors. Calgary and Saskatoon condo owners are also benefiting from significant price surges as prices have risen year-over-year by 15.4% and 13.3% respectively.

Though cities like Cambridge, Halifax-Dartmouth, and Ottawa have experienced less rapid price growth, they are still seeing positive gains and indicate supply and demand are more balanced. With condo benchmark prices under $500,000 in all three, the stability of these markets may be attractive for buyers wanting to avoid the volatility of a competitive market.

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