Photo: Hermann Kaser/Flickr

It adds up: homebuyers in Canada spent a record amount on residential properties in 2016, shattering the previous top year’s gross total as national sales and prices climbed.

Canadian residential transactions tracked through local multiple listing service systems from coast to coast worked out to a total of $263 billion, soaring 17.7 per cent over last year’s amount and previous record, according to BMO Economics.


Chart: BMO Economics

“It was a massive year for the Canadian real estate industry,” writes Robert Kavcic, a BMO senior economist, in a research note titled “Real Estate: The Golden Goose Delivered in 2016.”

“Not bad considering all the calls (yet again) for its demise,” he adds, chalking up the high tally to sales rising 6.3 per cent and the average sale prices surging 10.7 per cent, as the Canadian Real Estate Association revealed yesterday.

In the Greater Toronto Area, by far the country’s most active market, homebuyers spent about $82.5 billion on roughly 113,000 residential properties, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

National (and some regional) numbers may be eye-popping, but not every local market was booming, Kavcic notes.

“Location, location, location was a big theme last year, as it usually is, highlighted by massive gains in Vancouver and Toronto, while Calgary was in outright correction,” he points out.

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