House prices in Canada leapt by an average of 7.1 per cent over the past year, driven largely by increases in Toronto and Vancouver, the Canadian Real Estate Association says.
The average house price hit $416,584, including townhomes and condos, as sales volumes jumped 5.9 per cent from the month before. That’s likely the result of pent-up demand. Sales were slow over the unusually cold winter, and buyers appear to be playing catch-up. For that reason, CREA warns that the strength in sales may not last long.
Some economists, too, have been warning that the party won’t last. Scotiabank predicted recently that the long housing market boom is coming to an end, and the market will soon be a drag on growth. BMO says shifting population patterns will start to drag down housing sometime around 2018.
In the meantime, the market shows no signs of letting up. And some markets have seen enormous price hikes in recent years, particularly out west. One city out west has seen house prices nearly triple -- up 180 per cent over the past nine years -- and that distinction belongs to Regina. Check out house price changes by city since January, 2005 -- the baseline month for CREA's MLS Home Price Index.