Home market hot from coast-to-coast

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Especially here in Vancouver, most expensive in Canada

Eric Beauchesne

Home sales are so hot in Vancouver that, for the first time, some buyers are including a “trump” clause in their offers, allowing them to ante up on any higher offers, a major real estate firm said Tuesday.

But Vancouver isn’t, and hasn’t been, the only hot housing market, according to the report by Re/Max, on what has been a decade of rapidly rising home prices and surging home sales, and what it predicts will continue to be a hot housing market in many cities across the country.

“While residential housing values across the country have posted impressive increases over the past decade, unit sales have absolutely soared,” said the Re/Max report, which projects sales to continue increasing despite the rise in home prices.

The 10-year review of 16 urban housing markets across the country said sales have tripled in Prince Edward Island over the past decade and more than doubled in Ottawa, Toronto, St. John’s, Calgary, Montreal, Victoria and Edmonton.

Meanwhile, Montreal and Calgary have posted the greatest average price appreciation — in excess of 80 per cent or eight per cent annually — while prices in Halifax-Dartmouth, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Edmonton are now 70 per cent higher than a decade ago.

“More Canadians bought into homeownership during the last 10 years than in any previous decade,” said Elton Ash, a Re/Max regional vice-president for Western Canada.

Low mortgage rates and a shortage of apartment vacancies jump-started the real estate engine in the latter half of the 1990s while consumer confidence and a solid economy kept the market on track, he said.

There were 3.6 million home sales during the past 10 years, 25 per cent more than during the previous decade, the report said.

The steepest surge in home sales has been in P.E.I., up 203.6 per cent from a decade earlier, followed by Ottawa at 165.6 per cent, Calgary 143, Toronto 142.2, and St. John’s 139.

“Despite a year-to-date increase in the number of homes listed for sale, housing values are positioned to climb even further,” said Michael Polzler, a vice-president with Re/Max’s Ontario and Canada divisions. “Demand simply continues to outpace supply in hot pocket areas of major Canadian centres.”

“In Vancouver, for example, demand is so heated that purchasers are including ‘trump clauses’ in their offers to purchase . . . a first for this industry.”

The average price of a home in Vancouver, Canada‘s most expensive market, is $395,390, 19 per cent higher than a decade earlier, despite a slump in prices in the mid to late 1990s.


With homes averaging $395,390, Vancouver is Canada‘s most expensive housing market. But prices haven’t appreciated as much here over the past 10 years as they have in other areas of the country. Here’s how Vancouver compares to some of the fastest-growing markets:

Vancouver $395,390 19.1%

Victoria $352,825 66.1%

Montreal $194,963 85.9%

Calgary $245,049 81.7%

Halifax $183,110 77.3%

Kelowna $253,019 76.1%

Toronto $330,093 60.3%

Source: Re/Max, Vancouver Sun

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

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