Business

Average Canadian house price rose to $540,000 last month, up 15% in past year

The average price of a Canadian home that sold in February was $540,000, a figure that rose by 15.2 per cent in the previous 12 months, the group that represents Canadian realtors says.

Outside of Toronto and Vancouver, average price was $410,000

Home prices have risen by 15 per cent, on average, across Canada in the past year, CREA says. (Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

The average price of a Canadian home that sold in February was $540,000, a figure that rose by 15.2 per cent in the previous 12 months, the group that represents Canadian realtors says.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday that the number of sales rose, too, by 5.9 per cent. That's "one of the larger month-over-month gains of the past decade," the group that represents 130,000 Canadian realtors said.

"Home prices are accelerating in markets where listings are in increasingly short supply, specifically in Ontario,
Quebec and the Maritimes which together account for about two-thirds of national sales activity," said Jason Stephen,
president of CREA.

CREA says the average figure can be misleading because it is skewed by sales of numerous expensive homes in Toronto and Vancouver. If those two cities are stripped out of the numbers, the average house price was $410,000 during the month.

TD Bank economist Brian DePratto said that while the market appears to be strong, he notes that the figures released Monday are backwards looking.

"February's solid gain points to solid underlying demand for housing. However, conditions changed significantly in March due to the spread COVID-19. As such, activity is likely to slow substantially in the near-term, if not retrench," he said.

Bank of Montreal economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy noted that despite the overall strength, the numbers were a mixed bag across the country.

"Among the major cities, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto posted solid gains while the recovery in Vancouver continued," she said. "Turning to the prairies: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg were soggy, though most have stabilized since the start of last year."

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