For most of us, Vancouver and Toronto’s housing markets have been depressing at best.
It seems no matter how hard we work, or how much we save, it’s next to impossible for most of us to afford the type of home we could envision ourselves living in.
But there could finally be some good news.
According to a report from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), home sales in both cities have flatlined and even shrunk in the past couple of months after several years of rapid growth.
“Activity in Greater Vancouver and the GTA appears to have topped out,” said Cliff Iverson, president of the CREA. The organization said that sales were tempered by a “self-reinforcing” supply shortage in Toronto, where prices have become out of reach for many. There was no growth in home sales in April in Toronto after the figure fell 1.8 per cent the month before. In April, Vancouver saw home sales down 1 per cent, after falling 0.3 per cent the month before.
That’s not to say that your home won’t still make a major dent in your finances; to be clear, the housing markets in both cities top out at incredibly high levels. The benchmark home price index for Toronto was up 11.6 per cent from a year earlier, to $614,700 (and anyone who wants to find a detached home in Toronto knows this figure sounds pretty moderate). In Vancouver, the benchmark price index was up 25.34 per cent in April from the previous year, at $844,800.
This, of course, has made buying a house increasingly unattainable for pavement-pounding young professionals.
According to CREA, the increase in housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver comes at a time when other housing markets have also been heating up. This has resulted in record-high nationwide home sales for the month of April. The group report said that sales were up 3.1 per cent last month from March. In Canada, the average price of a house soared to $508,097, up 13.1 per cent over the past year.
If you removed Toronto and Vancouver from the equation, the national average price would be $369,222, up 8.7 per cent in a year.