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National real estate survey finds steep home price decreases in many communities, but prices up in others

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A nationwide study conducted by CENTURY 21 Canada reveals that real estate prices per square foot have fallen sharply in some communities across Canada since last year, but the picture is far from consistent from coast-to-coast. The rate of price decreases varies broadly while in some markets, notably Montreal and downtown Toronto, prices actually rose over the past year.

Prices are down most consistently and sharply in B.C., with Vancouver, many Metro Vancouver suburbs, and even markets on Vancouver Island and the Okanagan seeing declines of 10 or even 20 per cent in the price per square foot of properties sold between January 1 and June 30 this year, compared to the same period last year. Price decreases in Alberta and the Prairies were generally more moderate, while prices for condos in Montreal shot up 25 per cent per square foot, condos in downtown Toronto rose 10 per cent, and most Atlantic Canadian cities saw modest increases.

“What strikes me in this survey is how pricing trends varied so broadly across communities and types of property over the last year,” says Brian Rushton, Executive Vice-President of CENTURY 21 Canada. “Your real estate story is very different, depending on where in Canada you live. It is not surprising to see Vancouver prices drop so much, but the drop is actually more significant in some Metro Vancouver suburbs like West Vancouver and secondary B.C. markets such as Vernon and Kelowna. Prices in Montreal and Toronto, meanwhile, continue to head up, to the point detached houses in Montreal cost more per square foot than houses in many Metro Vancouver suburbs, and twice as much per square foot as Calgary.”

For the first time since this survey was started three years ago the price of a detached house on Vancouver’s West Side fell below $1,000 per square foot, dropping 13.74 per cent to $990 per square foot from $1,147 last year. Downtown Vancouver condos remain the most expensive properties in the survey at $1,241 per square foot, despite an 8.4 per cent decline from the same period last year.

A condo in downtown Toronto, meanwhile, shot up in price about 10 per cent to $994 per square foot, while prices in many GTA suburbs declined and others rose modestly.

Montreal also bucked the trend, with prices for a detached house rising 11.77 per cent to $674 per square foot, while condo prices shot up 25 per cent to $709. Increases in Montreal built on similar trends since Century 21 Canada again started collecting this data three years ago.

Despite local decreases and rising prices in other markets, Metro Vancouver communities continue to dominate the list of most expensive properties with seven of the top 10 most expensive communities, along with downtown Toronto condos and now Montreal houses and condos. 

B.C., however, also had the lowest detached house prices in the survey. Houses in Tumbler Ridge, B.C., went for just $84 per square foot, the least expensive community for detached houses in this year’s survey. The lowest overall price this year is also in B.C., with a townhouse in Quesnel going for $55 a square foot. Fredericton, NB, offers the lowest price in Atlantic Canada at $99 per square foot for a detached house.

See full PPSF study results here.

Prairie house prices remain generally affordable compared to other provinces, with prices dropping modestly in most communities. Calgary prices fell 3.59 per cent – going from $293 per square foot to $282. Regina prices for a detached house fell 2.88 per cent to $246 per square foot. Winnipeg saw the sharpest decreases in the Prairie Provinces, with decreases of almost 14 per cent to $243 per square foot.

Most prices in Atlantic Canada actually rose, though from a substantially lower starting point.

“With so much variation in the market and prices adjusting very differently depending on neighbourhood and property type, now more than ever it is important to have good information when making real estate buying and selling decisions,” Rushton added. “The list of complex local factors we see reflected in this survey is a long one, ranging from new taxes on property speculation and foreign buyers in B.C. through to a changing economy impacting neighbouring Toronto suburbs very differently.”

CENTURY 21 Canada’s annual survey of data on the price per square foot (PPSF) of properties gathers and compares sales data from its franchises across Canada from January 1 to June 30 of each year. By looking at the price per square foot at the same time each year the firm is able to get a good idea of how prices have changed over time for similar properties. This year’s survey looks back 20 years in some markets to 1998 prices, as well as comparing 2017 and 2018 prices with this year’s results.

For more information please contact:
Peak Communicators
Shawn Hall
Phone: (604) 619-7913
Email: shawn@peakco.com

About CENTURY 21 Canada®
CENTURY 21 Canada Limited Partnership (century21.ca) is a real estate master franchisor with complete rights to the CENTURY 21® brand in Canada.

The CENTURY 21 System is one of the world’s largest and most recognized residential real estate franchise sales organization with approximately 9,400 independently owned and operated franchised real estate offices worldwide and over 127,000 sales professionals. CENTURY 21 provides comprehensive technology, marketing, training, management, and administrative support for its members in 80 countries and territories worldwide.

How the information was gathered by CENTURY 21 Canada
CENTURY 21 franchisees were asked to help come up with the average price-per-square-foot in their market. However, calculating a precise number is not an exact science as every office and province tracks statistics slightly differently. As a result, some have used either the average or benchmark prices (depending on the market) and tracked average square footage in sales from January 1- June 30, 2019. The price-per-square-foot was calculated from those numbers. Each franchisee has confirmed that that the numbers provided are an accurate representation of their market.