While home prices are moderating in most parts of the country, bidding wars are becoming more commonplace and a recent poll reveals that a quarter of homeowners would willingly get into one when buying a home.

The web-based survey of 1,000 house and condo owners was conducted last month by Leger Marketing for BMO Bank of Montreal.

It found that 75 per cent of respondents said they would walk away from a bidding war on a home they wanted to buy.

But about half (52 per cent) of those willing to bid against other buyers said they would pay as much as 10 per cent above the list price.

A small percentage (27 per cent) said they'd pay as much as 20 per cent above list price when bidding for a home.

Men were more willing than women to bid as much as 120 per cent of the listing price. Only one-in-five women (20 per cent) said they would bid 120 per cent of asking price, compared with about one-in-three men (34 per cent).

Respondents in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were the most likely to agree to pay above asking price. Those surveyed in Quebec and Atlantic Canada were the least likely to participate in a home bidding war.

Average home prices across Canada are rising modestly, save for the two divergent markets of Toronto and Vancouver. The average home sale price in Toronto is $504,117, while the average in Vancouver is $761,742. Nationally, the average home sale price is $369,677.

“Toronto prices have risen 11 per cent over the past year, while Vancouver's have fallen three per cent,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist, BMO Capital Markets. “But excluding those two centres – which account for a little more than a quarter of national activity – prices and sales in the rest of the country are rising modestly. For most cities, the market is well balanced and generally moderating after strong gains in recent years.”


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