House prices pick up in Canada

Toronto, one of the biggest drivers of activity   Photo:   Bob Linsdell

House price growth picked up pace in Canada in September 2015, as the Fraser Valley saw its increases accelerate.

The latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association show that the prices rose 6.9 per cent on average year-on-year last month, up from the 6.43 per cent recorded in August 2015 and the 5.9 per cent recorded in July.

The rise marks a significant pick up in momentum, after about a year-and-a-half of gains that held steady within a range of between five and five-and-a-half per cent.

The overall growth continues to be driven by Vancouver and Toronto. The two cities are still the most active and expensive markets, recording the biggest annual price increases of 13.72 per cent and 10.46 per cent respectively.

By comparison, Victoria and Vancouver Island prices logged year-over-year gains of between 5 and 6 per cent in September, whle prices in Calgary were flat on a year-over-year basis for the second month in a row. Prices in Saskatoon and Ottawa were also flat. Prices fell 4 per cent in Regina, continuing year-over-year price drops in the area that started in 2013.

Indeed, if Vancouver and Toronto are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $334,705, with the year-over-year gain reduced to 2.9 per cent. Only one market is close to the two front-runners: Fraser Valley last month saw prices accelerate to rise by almost 9 per cent.

In terms of property types, two-storey single family homes continue to enjoy the biggest year-over-year increases (9.07 per cent), followed by one-storey single family homes (6.48 per cent), townhouse/row units (4.40 per cent) and apartment units (4.22 per cent).