You know the Canadian housing market is hitting moderate strides when analysts start breaking out nursery rhyme references. We’re in the midst of a “Goldilocks market” according to the latest house price survey from real estate giant Royal LePage.
“We are now experiencing a natural slowing in the rate of year-over-year price appreciation, with real estate markets moderating in most parts of the country, a transition to what our agents refer to as a ‘Goldilocks market,’ one that is neither too hot, nor too cold,” stated Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage in a release outlining the third quarter. “To be clear, we expect home prices to continue to grow in the months ahead, but at a slower rate than we have seen in recent years.”
But that’s not exactly a bad thing.
Toronto and Calgary Buck the Trend
The housing market is one of the sectors where volatility is an undesirable trait. Go too low and you’re elbowing your way towards a recession. Prices swing too high and you’ve got a skyline of empty condos.
Nationwide, the average price tag on a standard two-storey home climbed 5.5 per cent to $441,714 in the third quarter. Detached bungalows rose 6.1 per cent to $405,101 while the average price of condos on a national scale increased 4.4 per cent to $257,377.
But while the rest of the market played out like li’l bear’s moderately temperature porridge, it seems Toronto and Calgary saw a bit more excitement.
Despite the absurd amount of cranes dotting Toronto’s skyline, low levels of inventory and an unexpectedly active August market drove prices up across the board. Condos led the pack, rising 8 per cent from last year’s Q3 to $383,039. Detached bungalows followed up the ladder 7.2 per cent to $618,088 and the average price of standard two-storey homes swelled 7.6 per cent to $733,317.
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Affordability in Calgary on the Decline
Calgary – the country’s strongest housing market – is almost on track to match Toronto prices. As Alberta’s resource boom shows no sign of stopping, housing demand in Calgary continues to shoot upwards, outpacing supply. The average price of condos reached $294,156 – an 11.8 per cent year-over-year increase. Detached bungalows grew 10.8 per cent to $515,844 and standard two-storey home prices climbed 9.2 per cent to $499,811.
But despite the outliers, Soper called the overall climate supportive of a healthy and sustainable Alberta market.
“The brisk pace, sometimes approaching frenetic, that we have seen in recent months in some of Canada’s largest real estate markets is slowing – slower, yet still growing” he said. “Further, early indicators, such as declines in the number of new listings in some key cities, suggest that as demand slows, so shall supply, further protecting Canadian homeowners’ primary investment.”
A National Housing Snapshot
Vancouver still holds the title for Canada’s most expensive market; detached bungalows climbed 6.1 per cent to $1,135,009, the average price of standard two-storey homes grew 5.6 per cent to $1,220,909 and condos dipped 0.2 per cent to $502,869.
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In oil town, detached bungalows grew 6 per cent year-over-year to $357,240. The price of a standard two-storey home rose 5.3 per cent to $379,463, and condos followed suit, climbing 5.8 per cent to $232,340.
Prairie urban center Regina saw a tempering of new construction pushing prices down in the detached bungalow market 7.9 per cent to $307,250. Condos edged up 1 per cent to $214,748 and the average price for standard two-storey homes slipped 6.9 per cent year-over-year to $346,450.
Regina’s landlocked counterpart Winnipeg saw scattered results with detached bungalows seeing a slight 0.5 list in prices to $308,706. Two-storey homes balanced it out, stumbling down 1.4 per cent to $341,863. Condos saw the most growth in Q3 rising 6.8 per cent to $208,510.
Seems no one is in a hurry to snap up an abode in our nation’s capital. Detached bungalow and standard two-storey home prices only rose 1.2 per cent year-over-year, to $403,091 and $406,264, respectively. Condos dipped 0.3 per cent to $258,132.
Where anglophone and francophone culture converge, the average price of detached bungalows rose 2.6 per cent year-over-year to $296,857, standard two-storey homes wiggled up 0.2 per cent to $403,714 and condos pushed a slight 0.5 per cent to $241,000.
It seems Newfoundland’s capital is having a time, bie. Standard two-storey homes leapt 6 per cent versus Q3 last year to $424,167. Detached bungalow prices rose 5.9 per cent to $313,500 and condos saw a 5.1 per cent increase to $331,500.
While the Atlantic kicked up in the fall’s hurricane swells, Halifax’s housing market stayed flat. Condos saw a nominal 1.6 per cent year-over-year price increase to $217,500 while standard two-storey homes struggled up 0.8 per cent to $331,833. Detached bungalows fell a slight 1.6 per cent to $294,333.