Canada’s home prices continued to shoot up in February, with the national benchmark price index rising 16% year-over-year, according to a report Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Out of the 13 major housing markets tracked by the association, 11 had price increases, but the Aggregate Composite Home Price Index (HPI )is overwhelmingly pulled upward by sales activity in the Great Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas, two of the most expensive and active housing markets in Canada, according to the report.
The HPI benchmarks represent the price of a typical property within each market, which takes into consideration factors that average and median prices do not, such as lot size, age and number of rooms.
In the Greater Vancouver area, for instance, home prices increased by 14% year-over-year, with actual value averaging C$906,700 (US$673,497) in February. The average home price in the Greater Toronto area reached C$727,300 (US$540,238), rising 24% over the same period last year. Nationwide, the average home price was C$564,500 (US$419,311).
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“Homes are selling briskly throughout the Greater Toronto Area and nearby communities,” Cliff Iverson, the association’s president, said in the report. “Elsewhere, competition among potential buyers is less intense, so listings take longer to sell,” he said.
In terms of the number of sales, February saw a 2.6% decline from a year ago, but a 5.8% increase from this January, reaching the highest level since April 2016, according to the report.
Shortage of supply was still the predominant issue in most housing markets. The national average sales-to-new-listings ratio reached 69%, well above the 40%-60% range that is generally consistent with a balanced housing market.
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