The cities where condo prices are soaring, and where they're falling

Condo prices in Canada’s biggest markets continue to climb, according to a new report from Royal LePage.

The median sold price per square foot in the Greater Toronto Area is up 9.1 per cent from a year ago, reaching $743 per square foot.

“In Canada’s largest cities, many younger buyers searching for affordability and baby boomers looking for maintenance-free living purchase condominiums. Not surprisingly, that strong demand has pushed up price per square foot, with the exception of Vancouver and Calgary,” said Phil Soper, Royal LePage president and CEO in the report.

“Buyers are adapting by purchasing smaller units, especially among those looking for entry-level properties.”

Vancouver — a market in the midst of a widespread cooldown — saw an 8.3 per cent fall to $764/sq. ft., the country’s biggest decline.

“With a deceleration in Vancouver’s condo market, buyers for the first time in several years can benefit from the changing landscape. Higher inventory levels have resulted in the market nearing the point of oversupply and price per square foot has been decreasing considerably in this category,” said Adil Dinani, Royal LePage West Real Estate Services real estate advisor, in the report.

“We are also seeing a trend of buyers moving beyond the city core and closer to the transit corridor where properties are more affordable.”

Calgary also experienced a dramatic decrease in pricing, dropping 6.7 per cent to $313/sq. ft.

The median price increased the most in Ottawa, up 17.9 per cent to $395/sq. ft., which Royal LePage chalks up to low inventory levels.

Montreal continues to be a standout, with a 10.3 per cent increase to $362/sq. ft.

“Baby boomers looking for smaller units, millennials increasing their purchasing power, and more foreign buyers contributed to a hike in condo prices and demand in the past three years,” said Maxime Tardif, Royal LePage Altitude real estate broker, in the report.

“Available land is limited on the island; builders and developers are making every square foot count. As a result, more high-end, spacious units are being constructed in the suburbs, particularly near transit stations.”

Royal LePage also found that in all markets except for

Vancouver, the median condo price per square foot is higher than single-family detached homes.

(Royal LePage)

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

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