Canada’s three largest urban centres – Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver – experienced a collective resurgence in 2013. Sales trended upwards in these markets, despite numerous reports of an impending housing bubble or overheating.
In December, Toronto home sales climbed nearly as high as the snowfall, increasing by 14 per cent. The sharp, sudden jump came as somewhat of a surprise to some experts, given that December is often a slower period. Recently released data from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) shows that sales rose by 2 per cent last year from 2012.
“Looking forward, I believe that home ownership in the GTA will remain affordable as borrowing costs stay low,” TREB President Dianne Usher said of the GTA’s market performance. “The result could be a further increase in sales in 2014.”
According to MLS statistics, the average selling price in the GTA was $523,036, which represented an increase of 5.2 from the 2012 average of $497,130.
Metro Vancouver’s market saw a similar increase. Total sales increased by 14 per cent since 2012. The average price checked in at $603,400.
Calgary’s total sales also showed a significant rise, increasing 11 per cent. This was largely due to sales of condominiums throughout the city. Also on the rise was the average home price, of $472,000, representing an 8.6 per cent jump from 2012.
Positivity is key for investors looking to enter these and other markets, but this could be seriously impacted if Canada gives into the global pressure to increase interest rates in 2014. Recently, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty hinted that this may take place, especially if the U.S. economy recovers, and if the U.S. Federal Reserve reneges on its stimulus efforts.
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