The median price of a condo in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area was up around 20% at the end of 2017, according to the latest statistics from Royal LePage.
The real estate company has released its House Price Survey for the fourth quarter of last year, and it was resoundingly the “year of the condo.” It found the median cost of a condo in Greater Vancouver in the fourth quarter last year was $651,885, up 20.2% from the same period in 2016.
Meanwhile, the median cost of a condo in the Greater Toronto Area in the fourth quarter was $476,421, up 19.5% from the same period in 2016.
Just focusing on the City of Vancouver itself, the median price of a condo was up 18.7% to $775,806. In the City of Toronto, that figure was up 19.6% to $515,578.
In a release, Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage, said the surge in condo prices was due to the fact other types of property is so expensive.
“To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage.
“This is especially true for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightening mortgage regulations.”
Royal LePage compiled the report using proprietary property data in 53 of Canada’s largest real estate markets.
It found that in both Greater Vancouver and the GTA, condo prices continued to outpace all other property types.
In the fourth quarter, the median price of a two-storey home in the GTA was up 13.9% to $982,637, compared with the same period the year before. The same goes for the median price of a bungalow in the GTA, which was up 8.3% to $806,183 in comparison.
Meanwhile in Greater Vancouver, the median price of a two-storey home was up 6.6% to $1,586,991, compared with the same period the year before. The median price of a bungalow in the Greater Vancouver area was $1,436,606, up 5.3% compared to the fourth quarter in 2016.
The surge in condo prices in Vancouver and Toronto is pushing the average price of a home up in both regions.
Indeed, Royal LePage found the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver rose 8.2% year-over-year to $1,267,769 in the fourth quarter. In the City of Vancouver, that figure increased 12%, up to $1,480,712.
As for Toronto, in the GTA, the aggregate price of a home rose 14.0% year-over-year
to $837,873. In the City of Toronto, it increased 17.7% to $850,899.
What of Canada’s other cities? Well, in Calgary the price of condos was actually down by 1.7% compared with Q4 last year, to $298,735.
But in Montreal Centre, the median condo price is $380,138, up 7.6% from Q4 in 2016. And in the Greater Montreal Area, median condo prices are also up, by 5.3% to $313,156.
Overall, across the whole of Canada, the median condo price is now $420,823 – up 14.3%.
Soper said historically, condo prices have increased more slowly than prices of detached homes, because building upward uses “much less precious land.”
“For now, demand for those relatively affordable spots in the sky is so high that the trend has been reversed,” he said.
“As builders respond, new projects will come on-stream and condominium price increases will moderate somewhat.
“However, without hesitation, we can say Canada is now a condo nation, like other advanced economies around the world.”
So if you are in the market for a condo, where are they cheapest right now?
Well, you might want to try Windsor, Ontario which had the cheapest condos on average, according to Royal LePage, with a median price of just $154,531.
Sounds like a bargain to us.