Canadians complain about the price gap between U.S. and local stores, but here’s the biggest price gap of them all: housing.

According to an analysis from BMO Capital Markets economist Doug Porter, Canadians now pay 62 per cent more for housing than Americans.

“A 62 per cent gap is simply not sustainable for long,” Porter wrote in a note to clients.

Until about 2006, Canadian and U.S. house prices tracked each other closely for at least 25 years, Porter wrote, but that all changed with the bursting of the U.S.’s housing bubble. House prices in the two markets have been moving in opposite directions for much of the past six years.

bmo house prices chart

That’s a much higher price gap than for most goods. Depending on which estimates you believe, prices in Canada run between 11 per cent and 23 per cent higher than prices in the U.S., largely due to the strength of the loonie in recent years.

But the house price gap isn’t the result of shifting currencies — it’s the result of two very divergent housing markets.

U.S. house prices peaked and began to fall in 2006, while the Canadian market remained stable and continued to grow, expanding even faster when the Bank of Canada dropped rates to rock-bottom levels in early 2009, as the financial crisis unfolded.

The result is that, by early 2013, the mean U.S. house price had fallen to $233,000, while the average house price in Canada had grown to $378,000. Too bad you can’t cross-border shop for a home. (Or can you?)

Porter says the housing price gap won’t last forever.

“The good news is that we believe that most of this yawning gap will be closed by a rebound in U.S. home prices,” he writes. “After all, it’s U.S. affordability that’s off the charts now.”

That U.S. bounce-back has already begun: The mean house price in the U.S. grew nearly 10 per cent in the year to March, 2013, to $233,000, and housing starts have seen a strong rebound in recent months.

But if you believe some of the more bearish voices in Canada’s housing market, the gap could also be closed by falling house prices north of the border.

Will Dunning, the economist for mortgage industry group CAAMP, predicts we will start seeing falling house prices in the data starting sometime this spring. He estimates the country will lose about 180,000 construction jobs as a result of the slowdown in home building.

Housing analyst Ben Rabidoux recently told an audience in Vancouver that he expects Canada’s housing market is in for something worse than a soft landing. He predicted 250,000 job losses as a result of the housing slowdown.

Either way, though, this is one price gap that is likely to shrink soon.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The most expensive house for sale in Quebec is located in the suburb of Laval, on the shores of the river separating it from the island of Montreal. The house has six bedrooms and eight baths on 9,800 square feet of land.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The house features a heated inground pool.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    A very ornate living room.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The dining hall.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    Twin staircases flank the lobby.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The kitchen features a large island.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    A spacious bathroom.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The media room.

  • Quebec: $9.8 million

    The wine cellar.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

    A custom-built, 8,300-square foot home with four bedrooms on three acres of land in Shediac Cape. The house features its own elevator.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

    A fully equipped gourmet kitchen with large centre island opens to breakfast room.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

    Vaulted ceiling adorn the main room, and the entrance foyer features inset ceiling lights and a chandelier.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

    Dining room.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

    The second floor offers magnificent master suite with sitting area adorned by propane fireplace, access to balcony, dressing room, luxurious ensuite and guest room/bedroom with ensuite.

  • New Brunswick: $1.9 million

  • Nova Scotia: $6.7 million

    This two-year-old property on Ketch Harbour near Halifax has three bedrooms and four baths, made from high-grade Italian limestone. But the property doesn't seem to be selling; it was the most expensive property for sale in Nova Scotia the previous time HuffPost compiled this list, in October, 2012.

  • Nova Scotia: $6.7 million

    A slick, modernist bedroom with stunning views.

  • Nova Scotia: $6.7 million

    Stunning views of the ocean.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    Located above the bluffs of P.E.I.'s stunning North Coast, this house features six bedrooms and nine baths, and clocks in at a stunning 13,360 square feet.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    The kitchen is a blend of rustic and modern.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    The study.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    A bedroom with fireplace.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    Upper levels open on to the great room.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    A spiral, three-story staircase.

  • Prince Edward Island: $6.9 million

    A snug bedroom with fireplace.

  • P.E.I.: $6.9 million

    Take the virtual tour.

  • Newfoundland: $1.95 million

    This lime green, six-bedroom, nine-bath house just outside of Corner Brook is the most expensive property for sale in Newfoundland. The two-story, 6,000-square-foot house features a walkout basement that offers access to the back yard.

  • Newfoundland: $1.95 million

    The main floor has a floor-to-ceiling fireplace.

  • Newfoundland: $1.95 million

    The realtor describes the gourmet kitchen as a "chef's dream."

  • Newfoundland: $1.95 million

    "Cathedral ceilings" top the second floor.

  • Newfoundland: $1.95 million

    The back yard.

  • Ontario: $19 million

    The most expensive house for sale in Ontario is a condo in Toronto's posh Yorkville, in new building across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum. Suite 1400 at 155 Cumberland Street has four bedrooms and five bathrooms on two stories, with tons of balconies and verandas surrounding the whole thing.

  • Ontario: $19 million

    Swank terraces adorn the building.

  • Ontario: $19 million

    The unit has 5,000 square feet of terraces, and a pretty nice view.

  • Ontario: $19 million

    The second floor.

  • Ontario: $19 million

    Looking south towards the downtown core.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    A custom-built, 7,851-square foot home with five bedrooms and nine baths in Winnipeg's Ridgedale neighbourhood.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    The great hall.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    The living room.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    A very post-modern entertainment room.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    The games room.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    A rustic kitchen, despite all the amenities.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    Now that's a bathtub.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    The gym.

  • Manitoba: $4.3 million

    The view from the back.

  • Saskatchewan: $2.8 million

    This is the only image we have of the most expensive property for sale in Saskatchewan, as the seller has not provided any other photos. The realtor describes this five-bedroom, six-bath house on 4,300 square feet near Saskatoon as a "must see property." We'll have to take his word for it.

  • Alberta: $12.7 million

    Six bedrooms and eight baths in this house located in the scenic mountain town of Canmore. The house was an Architectural Digest showpiece.

  • Alberta: $12.7 million

    Vaulted ceilings in the great room.

  • Alberta: $12.7 million

    The kitchen.

  • Alberta: $12.7 million

    A hidden staircase leads to the wine grotto.

  • Alberta: $12.7 million

    The media room.