Condo markets in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal have accelerated significantly this fall, especially when compared to other major cities south of the border.
Last month alone, benchmark prices in Toronto went up by 5.2% annually to $805,500. This was only about $10,000 below the record highs achieved around two years ago, Bloomberg reported.
And even though Vancouver prices have exhibited a downward trend over the last few months, sales activity intensified by a massive 46% year-over-year, making September the third straight month of sales growth.
Even Calgary, which is still recovering from the catastrophic effects of the oil industry turmoil seen from 2015 onwards, enjoyed an 8.2% annual increase in sales in September.
To compare, the traditionally hot Manhattan market has experienced a steady decline in sales activity over the past two years. During the third quarter, resale prices for Manhattan condos and co-ops shrunk by 8% annually.
A significant driver of the Canadian trend is the country’s population growth. Statistics Canada data indicated that the national population expanded by 531,497 to roughly 37.6 million in July, ending up as the greatest year-over-year increase registered since the 1970s.
A RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger earlier this year found that Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary have all been deemed among the top 10 best cities to live in worldwide, due to their population growth along with other positives.
Calgary has proven to be especially attractive destination, with RE/MAX stating that the city ranked high in nearly two-thirds of the liveability benchmarks polled. Such criteria include population growth, housing supply, and access to retail outlets.
Vancouver boasted of particularly strong public transit options, including the Skytrain and bus system. The city also ranked high in RE/MAX measures of walkability, especially in Yaletown.
Meanwhile, Toronto ranked medium in terms of access to green spaces/parks, and high in population growth, retail store availability, and healthcare access.
Such factors tend to outweigh the impact of higher prices, according to RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive VP Christopher Alexander.
“While price and value are always top of mind for buyers, there are some aspects about a home that you can’t change,” Alexander stated at the time. “These liveability factors are what make your home more than just the place you live.”