After a spring of red-hot housing prices in 2017, the things have been cooler in the Canadian housing market of late. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the national average sales price was down 10.4 per cent year-over-year in March, the third consecutive decline since January.
But despite slightly lower year-over-year numbers, Canadian home prices are still well above where they were in decades past, and seem likely to continue inching upwards in the coming years. For a closer look into this phenomenon, BuzzBuzzNews has rounded up 6 charts to put things in perspective.
1. We’ve got some of the highest prices in the world
What’s going on here: Scotiabank Economics tracked real house prices in Australia, Canada and the United States over the past two decades.
The takeaway: While the US saw a drop in prices after 2008, Canadian prices have been moving steadily upwards since 1996, surpassing both other countries.
2. Prices in Toronto and Vancouver are still sky-high
What’s going on here: Scotiabank Economics tracked the Home Price Index Composite for Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary from 2005.
The takeaway: While Calgary’s prices have flatlined over the past few years, Toronto and Vancouver’s prices have shot upwards. While Toronto experienced a small dip in the spring of 2017, both cities HPI’s sit well above where they were 10 years ago.
3. Unaffordability is historically high
What’s going on here: RBC economics has tracked the affordability measure of the Canadian housing market — ownership costs as per cent of household income — since 1981.
The takeaway: While unaffordability was worse in the 1980s, it remained low throughout the 90s and 2000s, spiking to a historic high over the last two years.
4. Any way you measure it, prices are up
What’s going on here: The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) charted the national average selling price of a home and the MLS Home Price Index Aggregate Composite Benchmark since 2005.
The takeaway: Both the average selling price and the HPI have been on a steady course upwards since 2005, tapering off only slightly in January 2018.
5. Every property type has seen a price jump
What’s going on here: CREA tracked the MLS HPI benchmark price for every property type since 2005.
The takeaway: While some property types saw faster price growth than others — hello single detached two-storey homes — all saw a steep jump in prices since 2005. In the last two years, apartment units have seen a sharp uptick in price while detached home prices have declined slightly, possibly a sign of things to come.
6. Sure the market is balanced, but barely
What’s going on here: RBC economics tracked the sales-to-new-listings ratio of the Canadian housing market since 1981. A ratio of between 40 and 60 per cent is considered balanced, with readings above and below indicating buyer and sellers markets, respectively.
The takeaway: While the market entered balanced territory mid-way through 2017, it’s still closer to seller’s territory (and higher prices), than it was throughout the 1980s and 90s.