Canadian Home Prices Haven't Been This Low Since 2021 – Storeys
After soaring to record highs in early 2022, home prices across Canada took a significant hit as interest rates increased.
After eight Bank of Canada rate hikes in just 10 months, the national non-seasonally adjusted benchmark price hit $713,700 in January 2023, a 17.8% decline from the March 2022 peak.
The drastic decline spurred real estate agency Zoocasa to analyze benchmark prices in 49 cities and regions across Canada in an effort to determine when they were last this low.
According to the data, sourced from the Canadian Real Estate Association, the last time the national benchmark price hovered around its current level was in August 2021, when it sat just over $710K.
In several Ontario cities, though, prices haven’t been this low in roughly two years. January 2023 benchmark prices in Hamilton-Burlington ($809,800), Kitchener-Waterloo ($705,100), London-St. Thomas ($568,300), Mississauga ($1,038,300), and Ottawa ($603,900) are nearing their February 2021 levels.
Across the country, a further seven locales, including Edmonton ($362,200), Winnipeg ($323,600), and the Niagara Region ($629,100), are seeing prices akin to March 2021 figures.
In the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver — Canada’s most expensive regions — benchmark prices are closing in on September 2021 levels. As of January 2023, they sit at $1,078,900 and $1,111,400, respectively.
With affordability already elusive in Ontario and British Columbia prior to their 2022 peaks, many would-be buyers were sidelined earlier than in other markets, putting the breaks on additional price increases.
On the east coast, though, prices continued to rise. While the vast majority of markets included in Zoocasa’s report have seen their benchmark prices fall back to 2021 levels, in each of the Atlantic cities analyzed prices have reverted to 2022 figures.
In St. John’s, the January 2023 benchmark price of $316,300 is comparable to June 2022. At $343,600, prices in Prince Edward Island are nearing June 2022. Halifax-Dartmouth’s benchmark of $490,700 hasn’t been approached since February 2022.
The downturn has been enough to draw some buyers out of the woodwork. According to insurance comparison platform RATESDOTCA, mortgage purchase quotes were up 48% year-over-year in January.
While the jump is a seasonal norm, the fact that mortgage quotes have surpassed what was seen during the “hot” market of early 2022, “indicates a new wave of interested buyers,” RATESDOTCA said.
Zoe Demarco is a Staff Writer at STOREYS and was formerly the Urbanized Editor at Daily Hive. Born and raised in Toronto, she has a passion for the city’s ever-changing urban landscape.
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A massive chunk of Toronto's Kensington Market is now for sale at $24 million – blogTO
A large portion of Toronto’s eclectic Kensington Market community is on the chopping block, with a group of properties hitting the market for a combined $24 million, and potential plans to redevelop the site with a new mid-rise building.
Realtors are shopping a group of seven properties around that includes 23 Saint Andrew Street plus 25 through 35 Kensington Avenue, located just northwest of the Dundas and Spadina intersection.
The document circulating mentions the possibility of purchasing additional properties at 21 and 23 Kensington Ave plus an easement lot attached to 23 St. Andrew, which would add 0.173 acres to the site and increase the developable footprint to 0.66 acres.
The site is currently home to a collection of Victorian semi-detached homes with commercial frontages and includes a handful of businesses such as vintage store Fashion Old and New.
If sold off, it is expected that the new owner of the properties would redevelop the site with a higher-density development, and the document specifically notes the potential for an eight-storey building on the land.
Toronto’s Official Plan does indeed designate this pocket of the city for mixed-use development, though, like pretty much everything else proposed under the city’s archaic zoning by-laws, any mid-rise plan would require a rezoning to move forward.
The site is located within the planned Kensington Market Heritage Conservation District (HCD), which aims to conserve the area’s cultural and built heritage. This would likely only prove a small speed bump in any redevelopment plans, as new development is still permitted in an HCD as long as it adheres to the surrounding style.
Federal Government Amends the Foreign Buyers Ban Regulations – British Columbia Real Estate Association
On March 27, 2023, the federal government announced amendments to the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act’s (the Act) accompanying Regulations, effective March 27, 2023. The Act was passed in June 2022 and the regulations came into force January 1, 2023.
Here’s what you need to know about the amendments to the Foreign Buyers Ban.
Enable more work permit holders to purchase a home to live in while working in Canada.
The amendments allow those who hold a work permit or are authorized to work in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to purchase residential property. Work permit holders are eligible if they have 183 days or more of validity remaining on their work permit or work authorization at time of purchase and they have not purchased more than one residential property. The current provisions on tax filings and previous work experience in Canada are being repealed.
Repealing existing provision so the prohibition doesn’t apply to vacant land.
Repealing section 3(2) of the regulations, so the prohibition does not apply to all lands zoned for residential and mixed use. Vacant land zoned for residential and mixed use can now be purchased by non-Canadians and used for any purpose by the purchaser, including residential development.
Exception for development purposes.
This exception allows non-Canadians to purchase residential property for the purpose of development. The amendments also extend the exception currently applicable to publicly traded corporations under the Act, to publicly traded entities formed under the laws of Canada or a province, and controlled by a non-Canadian.
Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3 per cent to 10 per cent.
For the purposes of the Prohibition, with regards to privately held corporations or privately held entities formed under the laws of Canada or a province and controlled by a non-Canadian, the control threshold has increased from 3 per cent to 10 per cent. This aligns with the Underused Housing Tax Act’s definition of ‘specified Canadian Corporation’.
While the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcomes these amendments because they provide greater flexibility to newcomers and businesses seeking to contribute to Canada, we remain opposed to the legislation’s highly political and largely non-evidential assertion that foreign ownership plays a significant role in Canadian housing attainability.
The federal government’s need to amend this policy demonstrates its overly hasty policy-making process. The negative unintended consequences that necessitated the amendments could have been mitigated with proactive, fulsome sectoral consultation. The negative fallout from this legislation once again highlights a concerning trend at all levels of government to implement policy affecting major economic sectors without adequate advance sectoral consultation.
BCREA is committed to continuing our advocacy efforts calling for the establishment of a Permanent Housing Roundtable to bring together all stakeholders in the housing sphere and help address its challenges with an inclusive, holistic and innovative approach.
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