Housing market will see fewer wild swings in 2017, Royal LePage says

Royal LePage says the extreme regional disparities that characterized Canada's real estate markets last year will narrow in 2017 as overheated areas cool and slower markets begin to gather steam.

Hot zones like Toronto and Vancouver may cool, with prices going up in Alberta and Quebec

House prices in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Alberta will move higher in 2017, according to the Royal LePage report. (Casper Hedberg/Bloomberg)

Royal LePage says the extreme regional disparities that characterized Canada's real estate markets last year will narrow in 2017 as overheated areas cool and slower markets begin to gather steam.

In its latest report, the real estate company says this trend will be driven by lower prices in Greater Vancouver and strong but moderating price growth in the Greater Toronto Area.

"Unlike Vancouver where a price correction is underway, there is no relief in sight for the GTA — forward momentum and supporting fundamentals in the region are that strong," Royal LePage's chief executive officer Phil Soper said in a release.

"And it is worth noting, Toronto area home prices are much lower that those on the West Coast"

Meanwhile, prices in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Alberta will move higher, according to the report.

On the whole, however, the company is forecasting much more moderate swings in various housing markets, unlike what happened in 2016.

"The disparity in home price appreciation between Canadian regions has never been greater than that seen in 2016, with rates ranging from double-digit extremes in some cities to negative growth in others," Soper said.

"In 2017, we anticipate a movement away from the regional extremes of real estate feast and famine — and that is a very good thing."

Royal LePage's national composite index of prices increased 13 per cent year-over-year to $558,153 in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company says that's the highest year-over-year increase recorded by the index in more than a decade

Two-storey homes led the gains, with the aggregate price rising 14.3 per cent to $661,730, while the price of a condo was up a more moderate 7.4 per cent to $356,307.

With files from The Canadian Press