housing-markets-Canada-price-gains Photo: Sigmund / Unsplash

Canada’s housing boom is now spread so widely across the country that 41 markets — from Halifax in the east to Abbotsford, BC in the west — recorded double-digit annual price gains in the first three months of the year.

Some smaller markets that had largely occupied the periphery of previous booms posted higher gains than big urban centres that dominated the home price run-up in 2016 and early 2017.

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New home price data from dozens of markets across the country was published today by Royal LePage in its House Price Survey for the first quarter.

Of the over 60 markets surveyed, 41 recorded double-digit percentage gains to their median home prices when comparing first quarter sale price data collected in 2021 to the same period a year ago.

The small Ontario cities of Windsor and Oshawa recorded the highest annual home price gains in the country at 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Montreal’s suburban North Shore posted the third highest gain at 24 percent.

Other markets that experienced price gains of over 20 percent were all located in Quebec — Gatineau and Sherbrooke — and Ontario, where the cities of Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, London, Niagara-St. Catharines and Pickering all surpassed the 20-percent gain mark.

“During the first wave of the pandemic, we saw a massive shift from urban centres to small towns and suburban neighbourhoods. Across the country, the revival of these secondary cities has become a driving force of the market, attracting buyers of all ages,” said Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper in a media release.

While the biggest gains were concentrated in Ontario and Quebec markets, there were double-digit gains recorded in Halifax and Charlottetown on the east coast, while Victoria and multiple suburbs in the Lower Mainland posted similarly strong numbers on the west coast.

Markets in Alberta and Saskatchewan mostly experienced modest gains as Winnipeg recorded a 12.3 percent annual increase in its median home price.

Looking ahead, Soper said that the booming market won’t be slowing down anytime soon, though the focus may shift in the coming months.

“[N]ew Canadians are beginning to arrive once more, and investors are regaining confidence and returning to the market. This should sustain the current real estate boom well into 2022,” Soper said.

“This will be especially supportive of the condominium segment in our large urban centres,” he added.

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