POLITICS

Vancouver, Toronto housing prices shoot up, other major cities see mixed results: LePage

04/15/2015 06:46 EDT | Updated 06/24/2015 08:59 EDT
TORONTO - House prices have jumped dramatically over the past year in Canada's two most expensive real estate markets, Vancouver and Toronto, but other major cities showed a mixed bag of results.

The Royal LePage real estate group says Vancouver experienced a 10 per cent increase in the average price for a standard detached bungalow or two-storey home sold in the first three months of this year, compared with last year

It says the average price for a bungalow in Vancouver was just under $1.2 million, while a two-storey detached house in the city cost an average of nearly $1.3 million.

In Toronto, the prices were lower but the increase from last year was also about 10 per cent.

Other major cities had mixed results in the first quarter, with most showing increases but a few showing some price declines.

Nationally, Royal LePage survey found that the average price of detached bungalows was up 6.6 per cent to $405,895 and the average price of a bungalow was up 5.3 per cent to $451,463.

Royal LePage said it began detecting a steady softening of prices in most markets in the middle of last year.

"In recent months, two unanticipated factors disrupted the natural housing price cycle: the steep decline in oil prices late in 2014 and the Bank of Canada's subsequent reaction in lowering the overnight rate early in 2015," LePage said.

Mortgage lenders responded to the central bank's key short-term rate by reducing some of their rates for consumers.

LePage's survey found prices in the January-March quarter were generally stable or up moderately in Halifax, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton while prices were flat in Saskatoon.

In Regina, the average prices for a bungalows dropped by 5.4 per cent to $306,500 a while the price of two-storey houses in Saskatchewan's capital declined 1.8 per cent to $349,500, LePage said.