OTTAWA - Home prices crept higher in March as a slowing Vancouver market was offset by an acceleration in prices in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, according to a report by the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The MLS home price index was up 1.3 per cent in March on an month-over-month basis and up 5.1 per cent per cent compared with a year ago.
"Overall price trends show that Canada's housing market continues to moderate," association president Wayne Moen said.
"Price increases have been shrinking since last fall. While that trend paused in March, it may in part reflect an early spring in many parts of the country, resulting in increased competition among buyers."
The index is based on prices for one- and two-storey single family homes, townhouses and apartments in several key markets across the country.
The report found that price gains for single family homes were 6.4 per cent, roughly that for townhouses or apartments, that came in a 2.6 per cent and three per cent respectively.
Prices were up in all of the markets tracked, led by Toronto which saw a 7.3 per cent gain compared with a year ago, well ahead of Vancouver, which was second at 5.27 per cent from a year ago.
On a month-over-month basis, Toronto was up 1.65 per cent for March, traditionally a busy month for real estate sales, compared with Vancouver at 1.06 per cent.
Montreal gained 1.49 per cent and Calgary climbed 1.41 per cent in March.
The rise in the index followed a CREA report earlier this month that the average price of a Canadian home sold in March fell for the first time since January, a move attributed to an unusually large number of luxury properties sold in Vancouver last year.
The national average home resale price in March was $369,677, down from just under $373,000 in February and $371,591 in March 2011.
The decrease came as the number of sales conducted through the industry's MLS system was up 2.5 per cent from February, making last month the busiest sales month since April 2010.
Toronto's average residential price last month was $504,117 — up from $456,147 in March 2011. Vancouver's average residential price in March was $761,742, down from $786,311 in the same month last year.
This four-bedroom, two-bathroom custom-built bungalow in St. John's West End neighbourhood boasts hardwood floors, a covered sundeck and an oversized yard. With an asking price of $349,900 and 2,750 square feet of livable space, this spacious home costs approximately $125 per square foot.
This five-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom house features a double-width garage and a heated inground pool. At approximately 2,750 square feet and an asking price of $349,900, it works out to around $127 per square foot.
This spacious split-level home in southeast Winnipeg features four bedrooms and three baths, a stone fireplace and a jazuzzi in the master bedroom. It sits on a 142-foot-long, pie-shaped lot. At 2,182 square feet and a $349,900 asking price, it works out to around $160 per square foot. <strong>CORRECTION:</strong> <em>An earlier version of this slide incorrectly listed the price-per-square foot as $600</em>.
This five-bedroom, three-bath home features vaulted ceilings, a fireplace and a massive walk-in closet in the master bedroom. At 1,408 square feet -- this average-sized house on the prairie works out to $248 per square foot.
This two-story townhouse condo just east of downtown Montreal features three bedrooms and two baths, cherry wood floors and a terrace. At 1,400 square feet and an asking price of $349,000, this condo works out to $250 per square foot.
This cozy bungalow on the edges of the Greater Toronto Area features four bedrooms, two baths and a long, 175-foot lot. Highlights include a granite countertop and newly finished hardwood floors. At a snug 900 square feet, this house is going for $388 per square foot.
This one-bedroom, one-bath condo in Toronto's Entertainment District features a balcony with a southeast exposure. In a sure sign the condo is outfitted with just the basics, the unit's sellers boast of its "brand name appliances" and "frost free refrigerator." At 700 square feet (including the balcony), it works out to $499 per square foot.
This one-bedroom, one-bathroom corner unit in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood "shows much larger than the square footage," the realtor boasts. That's good, because at 508 square feet, this place is only slightly larger than some of the bedrooms and living rooms available in similarly-priced houses in other markets. The condo boasts "gorgeous mountain views," but it'll cost you -- $688 per square foot.