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Average Canadian house price of $503,301 in June up 11.2% from year ago

The average price for a Canadian home was $503,301 last month, a figure that has increased by 11.2 per cent in the past year.

Aggregate price is appreciating at the fastest pace since 2006, realtor group says

Canadian real estate is increasing in value at the fastest pace in almost a decade, CREA numbers show. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The average price for a Canadian home was $503,301 last month, a figure that has increased by 11.2 per cent in the past year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said in a release Friday that hot markets in Toronto and Vancouver continue to skew the national average higher. If those two cities are stripped out, the average house cost would be $374,760 in June, a 8.4 per cent increase from over the past year.

CREA says the average figure doesn't provide an accurate picture of the market, so it prefers to use its Aggregate Composite MLS Benchmark Price, because "average price trends are prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next."

But the aggregate, too, is showing a red hot market: a 13.6 per cent increase to $564,700 in June. 

That's the biggest annual gain since 2006.

Toronto and Vancouver are certainly driving the gains, but the numbers are strong everywhere. 

"We would normally insert the standard disclaimer that the national figures should be treated with caution due to the wildly differing performance at the regional level," BMO economist Doug Porter said. "But, the double-digit increases are spreading: Of the 26 major regions covered, eight saw double-digit average price gains in June."

While prices are red hot, sales volumes are slowing down — possibly because would-be buyers are scared off by the price tags, and those who already own can't afford to move up.

Across the country, sales volumes were down by 0.9 per cent in June compared to the previous month. They were lower in about half of all markets.

"While home sales activity and price growth are running strong in B.C. and Ontario, they remain subdued in other markets where homebuyers are cautious and uncertain about the outlook for their local economy," CREA president Cliff Iverson said.

BMO's Porter sees little reason to think the price gains won't continue as long as rates stay as low as they are. "It's business as usual in Canada's housing market, with fire-breathing strength in Toronto and Vancouver, corrections playing out in the oil-exposed markets, while most others fall somewhere in between."

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