Canada can count itself among some elite company — but it's not necessarily something middle- and lower-income residents will be proud of.
Canadian home prices leapt by 10 per cent in the year leading up to June, topping every country in the world except for Turkey (13.9 per cent) and New Zealand (11.2 per cent), says a Global House Price Index released by Knight Frank, a U.K.-based real estate consultancy.
North Vancouver, as seen from Burrard Inlet. (Photo: Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)
The top 10 were rounded out by Chile, where prices grew by 9.4 per cent, Sweden, where they jumped by 8.9 per cent; Malta (8.8 per cent); Austria (8.1 per cent); Iceland (8.1 per cent); Mexico (8 per cent); and Germany (7.9 per cent).
One of the reasons why Canada's house prices are growing so much is "a prolonged period of historically low interest rates," said researcher Kate Everett-Allen.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted just months ago that interest rates are the lowest they've been in 5,000 years.
(Chart: BofA Merrill Lynch)
The Bank of Canada's benchmark interest rate sits at 0.5 per cent after Governor Stephen Poloz said it wouldn't change in a July announcement.
Knight Frank drew up its numbers by analyzing government and central bank data from around the world.
It comes after Knight Frank released its Prime Global Cities Index, which measured the growth (or decline) of prices in the top five per cent of various cities' housing markets in the second quarter.
Vancouver. (Photo: Peter Gridley/Getty Images)
Vancouver topped the list with an increase of 36.4 per cent, while Toronto came fourth with 12.6 per cent. No other Canadian cities made the list.
Knight Frank noted that Vancouver's ranking could change in light of a 15 per cent Property Transfer Tax that B.C.'s government is levelling against foreign buyers.
It added that Vancouver is joining a group of world cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong, that have worked to control foreign investment in an effort to improve affordability.