Photo: James Bombales
Canadian home prices saw modest year-over-year gains in the first quarter of 2018, despite eroding housing affordability and stricter mortgage regulations dampening activity.
In the first three months of the year, the aggregate price of a home in Canada rose 6.2 per cent to $605,512 compared to $570,076 during the same period in 2017, according to Royal LePage’s Home Price Survey, published today.
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However, on a quarter-over-quarter basis, home prices declined slightly in half of the key markets included in the study.
“We are experiencing a broad-based, residential housing correction in Canada, triggered by federal and provincial intervention,” says Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper, in a statement.
In Q1 2018, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver saw the most significant declines across the nation on a quarter-over-quarter basis.
Royal LePage attributes these declines to a new mortgage stress test that came into effect on January 1.
“The combination of declining affordability and government intervention has for the most part neutralized very high home price appreciation levels in the Greater Vancouver and Toronto regions, relative to the extreme heights witnessed in recent periods,” says Soper.
But, these markets did see prices rise on an annual basis, as strong demand persisted throughout the first quarter of 2018.
The aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver increased 10.3 per cent to $1,280,014 in Q1 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. Meantime, GTA home prices rose three per cent year-over-year to $802,252. The City of Toronto saw the largest annual price gain of all GTA areas tracked, with the average home price increasing 6.3 per cent to $814,992.
When broken down by housing type, condos continued to see the highest price appreciation rates across Canada in Q1, rising 10.3 per cent year-over-year to a median price of $418,245. Royal LePage notes this increase is largely driven by notable annual gains in the country’s largest housing markets.
In the first quarter of 2018, Greater Vancouver’s condo market experienced the most significant price gains among Canada’s major cities with a nearly 20 per cent year-over-year increase to $668,342. In the GTA, median condo prices rose roughly 12 per cent from a year ago to $471,854.
Going forward, Royal LePage predicts that activity in Greater Vancouver and the GTA will start to pick up in the second half of the year, resulting in growing home price appreciation. On a national basis, Soper says the Canadian housing market will continue to be supported by strong economic fundamentals.
“Assuming that the economic outlook is not compromised by some unforeseen global event, such as a sustained trade war, we anticipate healthy, expanding Canadian housing market growth in the coming year,” says Soper.