Canadian home prices climb further out of reach

After a slight pause earlier this year, overall Canada’s housing market is back to full speed ahead.

According to new September data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average price of a home in Canada was up 5.3 per cent from last year, reaching $515,000.

"Home sales activity and prices are improving after having weakened significantly in a number of housing markets," said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist, in a news release.

"How long the current rebound continues depends on economic growth, which is being subdued by trade and business investment uncertainties."

The average price is much higher in some of the country’s biggest cities, which were recently labelled two of the world’s most overvalued real estate markets.

On average, a home in the Greater Toronto Area will set you back $806,700. Although Vancouver prices have come down over the past year, properties have ticked up the last three months to bring the average up to $986,500.

Sales rose in all of the country’s major markets, including the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Ottawa and Montreal, for an average increase of 15 per cent.

Not everyone can afford to take part in the flurry

According to a new survey by Zoocasa, 84 per cent of Canadians’ polled said housing affordability is a major issue that’s negatively affecting them.

The number jumps to 93 per cent when looking at renters. Considering rent is rising much faster than incomes in many pockets of the country, remaining on the sidelines of homeownership will still be costly.

“A key issue behind home unaffordability is that housing prices, especially in the nation’s largest urban centres, have increased rapidly over the last decade, well outpacing the rate of inflation and local wage growth,” said Penelope Graham, Zoocasa’s managing editor, in the report.

(Zoocasa)

For those who do own a home, 66 per cent say they may not be able to afford the one they currently live in.

The survey also found 72 per cent had a conversation about the state of the real estate market within the last month.

Those discussions sometimes involved moving—something 52 per cent of buyers said they would be willing to do.

In the final days of the federal election campaign, it’s still a hot topic for voters; 78 per cent of homeowners and 90 per cent of renters said housing issues need to be made a priority by the next federal government.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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