Canadian house prices climb more than 9% in April
The Canadian housing market continued to ride the coattails of seemingly unstoppable Toronto and Vancouver, with prices up 9.5 per cent nationally in April, year over year – but a far more reasonable 3.4 per cent when the country’s two hottest markets are factored out.
Sales were up coast-to-coast some 2.3 per cent from March to April, the traditional start of the peak spring home-buying spree. That was the third consecutive monthly increase in sales and resulted in a return to sales levels seen across Canada in the latter part of 2014, according to April figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association on Friday.
Sales were up in 70 per cent of the country’s major cities in April, led by the lower mainland of British Columbia, the GTA and Montreal, the national association for realtors said in a statement.
Listings were steady, except in Vancouver and Toronto where the supply of enough homes to meet demand remains a chronic problem, and has contributed to bidding wars and price escalations far exceeding price jumps seen elsewhere in the country.
Calgary was a notable exception in April, as the impact of oil continues to hit the housing market. Sales were up just 2.21 per cent last month, year over year, the smallest gain in three years in what was not that long ago the third hottest market in the country. Prices essentially flatlined, down just 0.53 per cent.
The MLS Home Price Index Benchmark, which factors out sales at the two extreme ends of the sales spectrum, was up 4.97 per cent in April over a year ago, CREA noted.
That brought the national benchmark home price to $488,400 but up to $594,500 in Greater Vancouver and $545,400 in the GTA.