Greater Toronto exceeds Calgary in house price growth

on Mar 19, 2015
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Greater Toronto is leading the board when it comes to house price growth in Canada. According to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the area saw a 7.8 percent gain in prices, knocking Calgary off the top.

Following a 5.96 percent gain, Calgary is now seeing its lowest price rises since December 2012. Further to this, Calgary suffered the steepest fall in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales across Canada with a 34.7 percent year-on-year decline last month.
Residential sales across the country crept up one percent month on month in February with Greater Vancouver, the Okanagan region and Greater Toronto leading the way. Meanwhile, sales have seen a year-on-year increase of 6.3 percent.
However, Alberta’s housing market was down by 27.1 percent from a year earlier, with national sales increasing by 5.01 percent. Both Calgary and Alberta saw average sales prices fall, with Calgary experiencing a decline of 3.6 percent and Alberta, 4.8 percent.
“A number of buyers across the Prairies stayed on the side lines in February”, said Beth Crosbie, CREA President. “Meanwhile, home sales in British Columbia and much of Ontario are improving”.
National average house prices across Canada remain somewhat distorted by sales activity based in Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, which are two of the most popular and expensive housing markets. However, removing these sectors from the equation, the average house price is shown to be $326,910.
The number of newly listed homes on the market fell by 2.5 percent in February in comparison to January, with Calgary listings falling a significant amount after seeing a strong increase towards the end of 2014.
The Canadian property market could be in for a rough ride this year, according to Hilliard MacBeth, a financial advisor and author. He believes that house prices in the country are on the verge of crashing. Following years of inflation, fuelled by excessively low borrowing rates, property values have increased to such levels that underlying incomes are virtually unable to support them. MacBeth has predicted that Canadian real estate is set to drop in value by 40 to 50 percent.
Despite the relative increase in sales and property values across Canada, if MacBeth is to be believed, now may not the best time to make an investment in Canadian real estate.

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