Toronto dethrones Vancouver as Canada’s most expensive housing market: RBC Economics

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      Move over Vancouver.

      Toronto has edged out the Western Canadian city as the country’s most expensive housing market.

      RBC Economics reports that the Greater Toronto Area “took that crown” last month, when the benchmark price for all residential properties in the eastern metropolis rose to $1.26 million.

      This exceeded the typical price of $1.25 million recorded in Greater Vancouver in January 2022.

      “It’s a stunning development though not entirely surprising considering how hot the Toronto-area market has become, especially since the fall,” RBC economist Robert Hogue wrote.

      Based on a report by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, the exact figure for the composite benchmark price in January 2022 was $1,259,900.

      The number represents a 33.29 percent annual increase.

      In comparison, the benchmark price for all homes in Greater Vancouver in January 2022 was $1,255,200.

      The figure means an 18.5 percent annual increase over January 2021.

      In a February 4 report, Hogue noted that the benchmark price in the Greater Toronto Area “soared over the past five months, including a mind-blowing 4.3% monthly increase—or nearly $52,000—in January alone”.

      “Vancouver prices have accelerated as well, just not to the same extent,” the bank economist stated.

      Zeroing in on the Toronto area, Hogue related that active home listings were down 44 percent year-over-year in January 2022, and “ended the month still near historical lows”.

      “Competition between buyers is as fierce as ever,” Hogue wrote.

      Bidding wars “pushed prices to new heights”, bringing the composite benchmark to $1.26 million.

      “In fact, the Toronto area has now become the priciest market in Canada, with its benchmark price surpassing that of the Vancouver-area ($1.255 million) for the first time in decades,” Hogue noted.

      He also related that it’s not just detached homes but condos as well that have seen major increases in price.

      “We see little that will materially alter these trends in the near term though expect that higher interest rates will gradually cool things down later this year,” Hogue stated.

      Turning to Greater Vancouver, the RBC economist noted that “rock-bottom inventories continue to be a major irritant for buyers”.

      “We expect tight demand-supply conditions will maintain considerable upward price pressure on all housing types in the near term,” Hogue wrote.

      In his report, Hogue noted that it previously seemed “unshakable” that Vancouver reigns supreme when it comes to top-dollar housing prices.

      “It’s been so for such a long time (decades!) and by such a wide margin. Not anymore,” Hogue wrote.