Canadian homes gained $135k in value in the last year
Photo: James Bombales
The country’s “housing mania” may have been dialled back in April, but home price appreciation continued on a tear.
Since April 2020, the first full month that the pandemic’s impact was felt in the housing market, home values have risen by $135,000 — or 23 percent — nationally. Between March and April of 2021 alone, Canadian homes gained $17,000 in value, according to new commentary published this week by RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue.
The economist noted that home sales activity over the past couple months was “clearly unsustainable” and the slowdown recorded in April may signal some reluctance on the part of buyers to continue engaging in bidding wars as prices continue soaring to all-time highs.
Sales fell 12.5 percent in April on a monthly basis at the national level. But even with the drop in transaction volume, Hogue wrote that the market remained “incredibly tight” and prices continued their epic climb across the country.
Communities in Ontario’s cottage country recorded monthly gains as high as $36,400 in their average sale prices. Small and medium-sized cities in Ontario and BC were also sites of strong monthly gains, with Ottawa recording a $23,000 increase, while prices in Victoria climbed $22,200 from March to April.
When it comes to activity in the months ahead, Hogue expects the cooldown will continue allowing the market to become more balanced.
“We expect a gradual rise in longer-term interest rates, deteriorating affordability, mortgage stress test tightening and the resumption of office work to cool demand down a few degrees. Soaring prices could also attract more sellers,” he wrote.
“This combination would ease the extreme imbalance that has characterized the market since last summer and set the stage for a moderation in the rate of price increases later this year,” he continued.
In the meantime, expect prices to continue to climb rapidly, the economist cautioned.