Where in Canada are house prices increasing the most? Maybe not where you think

Canada saw a surge in housing prices over the past year due to COVID-19, a market trend experts say is caused by people working from home more often and moving to rural and suburban areas.

Data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that when comparing the average market prices from February 2020 to February 2021, Canada had a 25 per cent year-over-year increase. The average price rose from $542,484 to $678,091.

“One factor is that with work-from-home even more generalized, many people don’t have to live within commuting distance from their jobs,” Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, told CTVNews.ca. “That means that folks who own condos and smaller homes can take out built-up equity and move to a property that better meets their needs – as over the past year, home is not only where you eat a few meals and sleep, but also the office, your kids’ school, playground, gym, etc.”

The largest year-over-year percentage changes came from the Northwest Territories (48.1%), Nova Scotia (30.4%), Ontario (24.5%), Quebec (22.5%), and New Brunswick (20.9%).

Cathcart noted that the higher percentage change in Northwest Territories is likely due to the fact that in both February 2020 and February 2021, six homes were sold throughout the entire territory and the ones that were sold in 2021 were marked at a higher price.

When looking at the provinces and territories that had the largest upsurge in terms of price difference, Ontario sits at the top of the list with an increase of over $170,000. Northwest Territories came next, followed by British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

   

The data also shows that prices in suburban and rural areas were impacted the most and saw the biggest changes, with regions like Rideau-St. Lawrence and Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario averaging about a 50 per cent increase from the previous year.

“With people no longer having to live within commuting distance to their jobs, as long as suburban and rural areas have decent internet, they become even more attractive to families looking for more space,” said Cathcart.

Find your region and the year-over-year price and percentage change below.

   

Cathcart says that Canadians can expect to see sales and prices increase this year, but forecasts sales to slow down in 2022 while prices remain high.