Home prices rise quickly in Toronto and Vancouver, even faster in some suburbs
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:15AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:25PM EDT
House prices continued to increase over the past year in the red-hot markets of Vancouver and Toronto, but even bigger increases were registered in some of those cities’ suburbs.
New numbers from Royal LePage show that year-over-year home prices in Greater Vancouver jumped 13 per cent overall between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015, hitting $928,532 on average and $1.225 million for detached two-storey homes.
The average price of a two-storey home in the City of Vancouver grew quicker than the average, up 17 per cent to $1.925 million.
Prices in Burnaby, B.C., increased even faster than in the city, by 18 per cent, to $832,000. The average two-storey home there went up in value by 21 per cent to $1.184 million.
South of the city, in Richmond, B.C., prices are up by 20 per cent overall to $868,105, and 24 per cent for two-storey homes, which now average $1.2 million.
Suburbs like Surrey, B.C., and Langley B.C, saw slower increases of eight and nine per cent overall.
A similar pattern could be seen in the Greater Toronto Area.
Overall GTA home prices are up 11 per cent to $612,261 on average, and the price of a typical two-storey home increased by 14 per cent to $731,601.
In suburban Vaughan, Ont., overall prices went up 16 per cent to $762,428, and two-storey homes increased 18 per cent to $842,173.
In Richmond Hill, Ont., another suburb north of Toronto, overall prices were up 18 per cent to $884,802, while two-storey homes were up 19 per cent to $963,561.
Phil Soper, President of Royal LePage, said that prices normally rise quicker in the city than suburbs, but that the Toronto and Vancouver markets appear to have reached a point, “where people say ‘enough’ and head to the ‘burbs.”
“You get a lot bigger house in Richmond Hill for a million dollars than you get in the City (of Toronto),” he told CTV News Channel on Thursday.
In terms of getting the most “bang for the buck,” Soper said Toronto-area buyers might look to a place like Oshawa, where “you’re looking at five times (the house).”
Prices in Oshawa were up less than 10 per cent overall, hitting $364,366. A detached two-storey home there (which would be much bigger than something similar in Toronto) costs $572,426.
“If you want to go to Moncton, you’re getting 12 homes for the same price as (one) in Vancouver,” Soper added.
The average house price in the New Brunswick city was down four per cent year-over-year to $196,693.
Soper said dropping mortgage costs, combined with strong employment in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as high consumer confidence are behind the rising prices.
Soper pointed out that prices even managed to rise a modest one per cent in Calgary, despite the fact that “the economy is in turmoil.”
Nationally, overall average prices were up eight per cent to $502,643.
Alan Stewart of Royal LePage Sussex said things are particularly tight in Vancouver because the city and its suburbs are hampered by geography.
“You can’t get beyond West Van without getting rural, and we've got mountains to the east in the Fraser Valley, the (U.S.) border to the south, and an ocean west,” he said.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark says she’s concerned about the rising costs around Vancouver.
“We don’t want housing to get out of the reach of most people,” she told reporters Wednesday, but added: "It's the ugly, or difficult, downside to the great economic growth that we have in our province.”
B.C. is working on ways to help first time homebuyers get into the market, she said.
“We want to do it in a way that doesn’t chip away at the equity people already have in their homes,” she added.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Sheila Scott