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Canada real estate: Where home prices have grown the most

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While average home prices across most provinces and territories have cooled considerably since reaching their peak in February, several markets are still seeing prices rise year-over-year.

According to the latest data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), major markets such as the Greater Vancouver and Toronto areas, Montreal and Calgary all saw average home prices increase between September 2021 and September 2022. However, smaller real estate markets situated outside of these hubs saw higher annual growth rates by comparison.

This is because rising interest rates have a greater influence on home prices in larger, more expensive markets, said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist and director of housing data and market analysis.

“Interest rates have a massively greater impact on places where the price to income ratio is much higher,” Cathcart told CTVNews.ca in an interview on Wednesday. “People need to be borrowing more closely to the limits of the stress test [in more expensive markets].”

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Regions that saw home prices balloon during the pandemic, such as Ontario and British Columbia, are now seeing their annual gains shrink as buyers are faced with higher stress test rates, Cathcart said. On the other hand, affordable markets such as the Prairies and Maritimes may not have made the same kinds of gains, but did a better job of holding onto them, he said.

“In some of these more affordable places, [average prices] not only continued to climb for longer in the spring, they’ve also declined by less from then until now,” said Cathcart.

In Victoria, B.C., for example, the average price of a home rose 15 per cent from September 2021 to September 2022. During the same period, average home prices in Saguenay, Que., increased 13.9 per cent. Residents of Yarmouth, N.S., saw the highest annual growth of any real estate market in September 2022 with a rate of 21.7 per cent. These figures are MLS benchmark prices, calculated to reflect price trends based on the majority of homes in a given area.

However, these kinds of price gains are not likely to stick around as rising interest rates continue to drive down home prices, Cathcart said.

“Those year-over-year gains are rapidly shrinking with every month that goes by,” said Cathcart. “[October] might be the last month that you see so many markets that still have year-over-year gains.”

Below is a list of properties CTVNews.ca has gathered that are on sale in markets that have seen some of the highest annual growth rates across the country.

YARMOUTH

(Louisette Higgins, Modern Realty)

Type: House

Price: $339,900

Year Built: 1987

Property Size: 200.67 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.2 hectares

Price Growth: 21.7 per cent year-over-year

This four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Yarmouth, N.S., has a fully-fenced backyard, with a new deck and above-ground pool. The main floor has an open-concept living and dining area leading to a kitchen with a breakfast bar. In the basement is a laundry room with access to the backyard, as well as another room that can be used as an office or home gym.

GREATER MONCTON

(Emma Lee Arsenault Photography / Adele Poirier, Keller Williams Capital Realty)

Type: House

Price: $349,900

Year Built: 2007

Property Size: 212.38 sq. m

Lot Size: 322 sq. m

Price Growth: 19.6 per cent year-over-year

Spanning nearly 213 square metres, this two-storey home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Hardwood and tile floors run throughout the main level, and the living room includes a propane fireplace. From the dining area, two sliding patio doors lead to a four-season sunroom that can be used year-round. The basement is also completely finished and has a separate side entrance.

ALBERTA WEST

(KLIK Solutions / Lori Gelmici-Hanni, Royal LePage Edson Real Estate)

Type: House

Price: $629,500

Year Built: 2013

Property Size: 147.44 sq. m

Lot Size: 1.59 hectares

Price Growth: 17.7 per cent year-over-year

Laminate flooring and modern finishes run throughout this rural home near Edson, Alta. Designer lighting on the main floor decorates the high ceilings, while the kitchen features granite countertops and an oversized island. Filling the rest of the home are four bedrooms and three bathrooms. A family room occupies the basement, along with a newly renovated bathroom complete with a tiled shower.

VICTORIA

(Spartan Media / Anna Piloyan, Re/Max Camosun Oak Bay)

Type: House

Price: $839,000

Year Built: 1920

Property Size: 89.74 sq. m

Lot Size: 408.77 sq. m

Price Growth: 15 per cent year-over-year

Built in the 1920s, this character home features high ceilings and large windows. The one-storey home also comes with a small, detached garage that can be transformed into a workshop. Perched on a large rock, the house overlooks the Oaklands neighbourhood in Victoria, B.C., and is situated within walking distance of parks, schools and restaurants.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

(Taralynn Arsenault, Palmer Real Estate Group, Keller Williams Select Realty)

Type: House

Price: $399,999

Year Built: 2002

Property Size: 272.39 sq. m

Lot Size: 0.26 hectares

Price Growth: 14.5 per cent year-over-year

This four-bedroom, four-bathroom rural home is located between Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I. The secluded lot features patios at the front and back of the house, as well as a gazebo in the backyard. On the main floor is a kitchen, formal dining room, living room and office. The main bedroom on the top floor has an ensuite with a double sink, full shower and separate jet tub.

SAGUENAY

(Saïda Murray, Proprio Direct)

Type: House

Price: $365,000

Year Built: 1974

Property Size: 178.37 sq. m

Lot Size: 0.2 hectares

Price Growth: 13.9 per cent year-over-year

Situated in a quiet neighbourhood in Saguenay, Que., is this four-bedroom, one-bathroom home. The large lot backs onto a forest, and there are no neighbours behind the home. The two-storey house also has a finished basement, and is located near essential amenities as well as the Chicoutimi River.

CALGARY

(Dianne Brown, Re/Max Landan Real Estate)

Type: House

Price: $685,000

Year Built: 1912

Property Size: 79.8 sq. m

Lot Size: 226 sq. m

Price Growth: 11.5 per cent year-over-year

On the main floor of this Calgary home are 10-foot ceilings and a large bay window. The corner lot has one bedroom plus a den, as well as one bathroom. The kitchen features white cabinetry, an exposed brick wall and stainless steel appliances, while the living area has a gas fireplace with a mantle. Oak floors installed when the home was first built in 1912 run across both storeys of the home.

WINDSOR-ESSEX

(Windsor Creative Real Estate Photography / Rick Lescanec, Deerbrook Plus Realty)

Type: House

Price: $699,900

Year Built: 1900

Property Size: 213.68 sq. m

Lot Size: 450 sq. m

Price Growth: 10.8 per cent year-over-year

While it may be more than 100 years old, this Windsor, Ont., home has been restored throughout the years. A brick porch sits at the entrance of the five-bedroom home, which also features custom stonework in the bathrooms. The sunroom leads to a backyard with a deck and gazebo. There is also an open-concept loft with a skylight.

SOUTHEAST SASKATCHEWAN

(Gale Tytlandsvik / Linda Mack, Re/Max Blue Chip Realty)

Type: House

Price: $364,900

Year Built: 1985

Property Size: 119.10 sq. m

Lot Size: 767.29 sq. m

Price Growth: 9 per cent year-over-year

This four-bedroom, three-bathroom bungalow in Estevan, Sask., has had various upgrades since it was built in 1985. In addition to living, dining and kitchen areas on the main floor, the basement features a sizeable family room with built-in cabinetry and a gas fireplace. Also in the basement is a den, storage room and hot tub. The fully fenced backyard includes a deck, garden and two sheds.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

(Matt Grandy Photography / Jackie Kavanagh, YYT Realty Group- Kavanagh Burke, Royal Lepage Vision Realty)

Type: House

Price: $309,900

Year Built: 1954

Property Size: 212 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.2 hectares

Price Growth: 8 per cent year-over-year

This 212-square-metre home in St. John’s, N.L., comes with a large updated kitchen, complete with in-floor heating and ceramic tile. Making up the rest of the home is a large living and dining area, as well as four bedrooms and two bathrooms. In the basement is a laundry room and family room. The detached home is situated within walking distance of a hospital and grocery stores.

INTERIOR BRITISH COLUMBIA

(PrimeLight Media / Shannon Stone, Re/Max Kelowna Stone Sisters)

Type: House

Price: $799,900

Year Built: 1940

Property Size: 129.88 sq. m

Lot Size: under 0.4 hectares

Price Growth: 6.1 per cent year-over-year

Located in Kelowna, B.C., this 130-square-metre house is surrounded by greenery. The large backyard serves as the ideal outdoor living space, complete with a concrete patio and flower garden. Inside are two bathrooms, updated to include heated flooring, as well as two bedrooms. The home also has an open-concept living and dining area that connects to the kitchen.

MONTREAL

(Stephanie Rizzuto, The Agency Montreal)

Type: Apartment

Price: $499,000

Year Built: 2015

Property Size: 68 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

Price Growth: 5.7 per cent year-over-year

Located in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood is this two-bedroom, one-bathroom corner apartment. Nine-foot floor-to-ceiling windows are found throughout the unit, which features an open-concept floor plan and private balcony. In the condominium are amenities such as a picnic area, heated outdoor pool and rooftop terrace with 360-degree views of downtown Montreal.

TORONTO

(John Wilken Open House Media / Sean Miller, Property.ca)

Type: Apartment

Price: $999,000

Year Built: 2022

Property Size: 107.77 sq. m

Lot Size: N/A

Price Growth: 4.3 per cent year-over-year

Polished concrete ceilings in this apartment unit serve as a stark contrast to its modern design. Along with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, this corner unit in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood also has a walk-in closet and a 100-square-foot balcony offering north-facing views of the city. Floor-to-ceiling windows also allow plenty of natural light to seep in.

WINNIPEG

(Nicole Landry-Milner, Re/Max Performance Realty)

Type: House

Price: $389,900

Year Built: 1909

Property Size: 160.91 sq. m

Lot Size: 306.58 sq. m

Price Growth: 2.2 per cent year-over-year

This home in Winnipeg’s Wolseley neighbourhood spans two-and-a-half storeys. Near the entrance is a living room with a fireplace mantel, which leads to dining and kitchen areas. Also on the main floor is a newly renovated bathroom with a walk-in shower. On the upper floor is a laundry facility, two bedrooms and a four-piece bathroom. Meanwhile, the partially finished basement includes a recreation room, bathroom and bedroom.

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Flu surges on heels of RSV, COVID-19 to overwhelm children’s hospitals in Canada

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A flu season that started early, hospitalized far more children than usual and overwhelmed emergency departments has revealed that Canada’s healthcare system is chronically underfunded when it comes to the most vulnerable citizens, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist says.

Dr. Jesse Papenburg, who works at Montreal Children’s Hospital, said a system that was already struggling with a surge of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, on the heels of COVID-19 is now overwhelmed in much of the country.

“Certainly, Ontario and Alberta in particular have been hit very hard with an early and really quite explosive influenza season in pediatrics when it comes to more severe disease requiring complex hospitalization. And we’re also observing in Montreal as well that our influenza admissions are really starting to pick up,” he said.

The last week of November saw the highest number of pediatric hospitalizations for a single week in the past decade, said Papenburg, who is also an investigator for IMPACT, a program that monitors hospitalizations for vaccine-preventable diseases at 12 children’s hospitals across the country.

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A typical flu season sees about 1,000 kids admitted to hospital. Due to pandemic public health measures, he said last season saw only 400 and there were none the season before that.

Up to the end of November, over 700 children had been hospitalized with the H3N2 strain of the flu, which typically takes a toll on older adults. But the season could continue until March or April, Papenburg said of the unexpected epidemic.

“When you’re already stretched to the limit under normal circumstances and there’s something exceptional that takes place, it really has a greater impact on the type of care that we can deliver to Canadian children,” he said. “It’s unacceptable, in my view, that this is happening, that we are having to delay important surgeries for children because we need those resources for dealing with acute respiratory infections.”

While the number of RSV hospitalizations is stabilizing, there’s still a “significant burden of disease requiring complex hospitalization,” he said of the Montreal hospital.

Alex Munter, president of Ottawa pediatric hospital CHEO, said the Red Cross will be helping take some of the pressure off critical-care staff starting this week.

He said two teams of nine people will work rotating overnight shifts and that some will be porters while others get supplies or sit with patients.

“Having these Red Cross teams on-site will allow us to send back redeployed staff to their home base,” he said.

“The test positivity rate last week for flu was 30 per cent compared to 10 per cent at the end of October. That’s a big increase and it’s still climbing so flu hospitalizations are increasing and RSV is plateauing,” Munter said.

CHEO, including its emergency department and urgent care clinic, is also getting help from pediatricians, family doctors and nurses in the community while some patients are being transferred to adult hospitals, Munter said.

“We can’t run our hospital this way in perpetuity. I think the moral of the story here is that we have undersized child and youth health system in Canada.”

SickKids in Toronto continues to see high patient volumes in the pediatric intensive care unit and since November has reduced the number of surgeries so staff can be redeployed to provide care in that unit.

“We have been co-ordinating closely with other hospital partners that have the ability to care for some pediatric patients,” the hospital said in a statement, adding it is not currently seeking staffing support from external organizations.

Dr. Shazma Mithani, an emergency room doctor at both the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, said a temporary closure of a pediatric hospice in Calgary is “tragic” as staff are being diverted to a children’s hospital.

“It means that kids who are dying are not getting the palliative and comfort care that they deserve and need, and that acute care is taking priority over that,” Mithani said.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has said Ottawa recently gave provinces an additional $2 billion as calls grow for both levels of government to do more to help hospitals facing unprecedented challenges.

Mithani said funding has to be targeted for children’s hospitals and could also go to staffing after-hours clinics, for example.

She said people planning large indoor gatherings over Christmas and for New Year’s Eve should consider scaling back, while schools should transition to temporary online learning if they have a large number of viral illnesses

Health officials also need to make a concerted effort to educate the public on the importance of vaccination amid misinformation on social media, Mithani said.

“The most vulnerable people in our society are suffering as a result of the decisions that adults made. That’s what’s happening here, that kids are suffering from the poor decisions of adult decision-makers who can’t seem to do the right thing in order to protect our kids.”

— With files from Jordon Omstead in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

This story is produced with the financial assistance of The Canadian Medical Association. It has no say in editorial choices.

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‘Bumbling and stumbling’: Alberta’s UCP caucus votes for changes to sovereignty bill

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'Bumbling and stumbling': Alberta's UCP caucus votes for changes to sovereignty bill

Alberta‘s governing United Conservative caucus says it wants changes to fix a bill that grants sweeping, unchecked powers to Premier Danielle Smith and her cabinet to pass laws behind closed doors without the scrutiny and approval of the legislature.

Smith, meanwhile, is facing Opposition demands to explain to Albertans whether she is authoritarian or incompetent, given the way her signature sovereignty bill has rolled out.

“She either got caught in her attempt to seize power and is now desperately scrambling to cover that up, or she literally didn’t know what was in her bill and very possibly still doesn’t,” Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley said during question period Monday.

“She’s lost people’s trust with this bumbling and stumbling.

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“Her bill is beyond saving. Why won’t she just withdraw it?”

Smith responded that she welcomes the changes.

“I want to make sure that we get this bill right and I’m grateful that my caucus is going to propose amendments to do that.”

Smith said over the weekend that amendments were in the works to reverse provisions of the sovereignty bill that grant her cabinet the unfettered powers.

Smith told her Saturday morning radio talk show that the unchecked powers were never supposed to be in the bill, but she didn’t explain how they got there.

“You never get things right 100 per cent right all the time,” she said on the show.

Smith’s United Conservative caucus said in a news release Monday that it voted to propose an amendment to clarify that any changes cabinet makes to laws under the act can’t be done in secret, but must instead come back to the house for the normal process of debate and approval.

The caucus also voted to change the act to more narrowly spell out when cabinet can take action.

Under the current bill, cabinet has wide latitude to respond to whatever federal law policy or program it deems harmful to Alberta’s interests.

With the amendment, harm would be defined as anything a majority of the legislature deems to be an unconstitutional federal intrusion in provincial areas of responsibility.

“These proposed amendments reflect feedback we’ve received from Albertans who want to see aspects of Bill 1 clarified to ensure it gets across the finish line,” government whip Brad Rutherford said in the release.

The release does not contain suggested legal wording of the amendments and the amendments have yet to be presented to the house.

The bill is now in second reading.

Political scientist Duane Bratt said the proposed amendments represent a major climbdown.

“Both of those were flagged early and often by critics of the bill. Those were two of the most outrageous things in there,” said Bratt, with Mount Royal University in Calgary.

He said the outstanding question is how did these clauses end up in the bill in the first place.

“Either they meant it that this is something they wanted to do … meant it and didn’t think anyone would notice, meant it but didn’t anticipate the backlash or they were just cut-and-pasting legislation and they didn’t think it all through.”

Either way, said Bratt, “it looks incompetent.”

Smith introduced the bill a week ago, characterizing it as a deliberately confrontational tool to reset the relationship with a federal government that she accuses of interfering in constitutionally protected areas of provincial responsibility from energy development to health care.

The bill has been widely criticized by political scientists and legal experts as constitutionally questionable and a threat to the checks and balances that underpin a healthy democracy.

Indigenous leaders have called it a heavy-handed trampling on treaty rights. Business groups, including the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, warn the legal uncertainty surrounding the bill is not good for investment.

Concerns remain over the provision that would grant Smith’s cabinet the right to order provincial entities — municipalities, schools, health regions, city police forces and others — to flout federal laws.

Under the bill as it currently is constructed, once cabinet identifies a federal harm, it would send a resolution to the legislative assembly spelling out the nature of the harm and the remedies to fix it.

If the Legislature gives its approval by majority vote, cabinet takes over and can pass laws and direct provincial agencies.

The current bill says cabinet “should” follow the direction of the house but doesn’t mandate it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

— With files from Colette Derworiz in Calgary

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Canada imposes more sanctions in Haiti, targeting country’s wealthiest people

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Canada is imposing more sanctions on Haitian elites it accuses of empowering gangs in the Caribbean country. The new sanctions freeze Canadian assets held by three of the country’s wealthiest people.

They include Gilbert Bigio, who is often called the richest person in Haiti, as well as Reynold Deeb and Sherif Abdallah.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly accuses the trio of providing “illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs” through money laundering and “other acts of corruption.”

Gangs have paralyzed Haiti by blocking access to roads, fuel and essentials, leading the government to call for an international military intervention, which Ottawa is considering leading.

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But some Haitians fear that will only help parts of the government, which they say is responsible for corruption and a worsening cholera outbreak, stay in power.

Joly is also asking countries “to follow our lead and impose sanctions against gangs and their supporters.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

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