A number of Canadian cities saw house price increases averaging at or near six figures in 2021, according to Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter on Tuesday.
Members of the Finance Committee in the House of Commons reviewed the figures with Statistics Canada chief statistician Anil Arora on Monday.
“Housing inflation is homegrown,” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre. “The average family must spend two-thirds of their gross income on monthly payments for the average home in Toronto or Vancouver.”
CREA data showed that 666,995 homes were sold across Canada in 2021.
The year-over-year average Canadian home price increased 18% to $713,542 in December, according to the data.
“There are currently fewer properties listed for sale in Canada than at any point on record,” said CREA senior economist Shaun Cathcart in a statement to Blacklock’s. “Unfortunately the housing affordability problem facing the country is likely to get worse before it gets better.”
Figures showed average price gains at or near $100,000 or more in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
Housing prices went up the most in the Greater Toronto Area, where they increased by $286,000 (31%) to about $1.2 million. Homes in Victoria saw their prices increase by $172,400 (24%) to $902,700.
Housing prices in Halifax went up $89,162 (22%) to $490,127. Prices for the Greater Vancouver Area increased by $181,600 (17%) to about $1.2 million.
Arora said housing prices are going up because of all of the people wanting to buy.
“First and foremost is demand,” said Arora. “We are seeing because of COVID a desire of people to have more open space.”
He said interest rates are also leading to higher housing prices, with record-low mortgage rates encouraging people to buy homes.
Canada’s inflation rate spiked to an 18-year high of 4.7% in October, according to Statistics Canada data.
The high rate is the most inflation Canada has seen since February 2003.
The cost of housing has increased by 4.8% in the last year alone.