High House Prices Aren’t Stopping Canadians From Buying. Here’s Why.

Photo by Milly Eaton from Pexels

It doesn’t look like the housing bubble will pop anytime soon. Despite high prices, housing demand in Canada continues to climb and sales continue to soar

According to Toronto and Vancouver real estate board data, home sales rose by 24 per cent year over year in July in both cities. The increase was fuelled by low interest rates and high demand

READ: 5-Year Forecast Shows Canadian House Prices Will Rise In All But 2 Cities

The Bank of Canada has held the interest rate steady at 1.75 per cent for six-straight announcements, and economists believe it will remain unchanged for at least another year, the Financial Post reports. 

Mortgage rates have also reached their lowest levels since July 2017, now sitting at 2.39 per cent, according to Ratehub. These low rates have attracted more Canadians to enter the market, but have also created more demand and competition, which is driving up prices. 

READ: Toronto Is The No. 1 City Canadians Want To Move To For Real Estate

The growth of the population and job markets in Toronto and Vancouver have also increased housing demand. Toronto, in particular, has seen its growing population outpace all other cities in Canada and the U.S. 

So how high are the prices in Canada’s biggest markets? The average in Vancouver is roughly $1.44 million; in Toronto, it’s $873,000; and in Montreal, it’s $375,000. 

READ: More Homeowners Lured Away From Big Cities Due To Low House Prices

These prices have climbed drastically in the past 19 years, far outpacing prices in the U.S., Better Dwelling previously reported. In nearly 20 years, prices in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have jumped by 316 per cent, 240 per cent, and 189 per cent, respectively.

As a result, less than 10 per cent of Toronto and Vancouver’s wealthiest residents can afford to buy a home in their respective cities. 

READ: Infographic Reveals The Hottest Sellers’ Markets In Canada

So when will the prices stop rising? According to Doug Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, there’s no real answer. 

“When you’re looking at a market that becomes driven by wealth, and wealth from outside the city limits, then there isn’t necessarily a limit to house prices,” he told HuffPost Canada. 

READ: New Study Shows How Seniors Impact Canada’s House Prices

Unfortunately, millennials face the harshest consequences of this. High prices means it will be harder for them to qualify for a mortgage and enter the market. Plus, the fact that more seniors are delaying downsizing means millennials will be left with limited options for affordable homes.  

It was previously predicted that Toronto’s housing bubble could burst, but with the rise of home sales, only time will tell which way the market will go.

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