The relative cost of homes in Canada
As of April 2022, the benchmark price of a home in Calgary was $511,600 and $371,600 in Edmonton
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 25 May 2022 2 min read
From a rented basement, to a mansion on a lake, to a room in a care home, housing takes many forms. While only one piece of the puzzle, the price of homes on the resale market provides us with a rough sense of the direction in which housing costs are going and how they compare across communities.
Movement in resale home prices also affects other parts of the housing system such as the cost of rent and the availability of subsidized units. As Tim Richter (President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness) notes in a recent episode of The Future Of podcast: “We need to look at the health of the whole housing system: the home ownership market impacts the rental market, the rental market impacts the affordable [housing] market—they are intertwined.”
With this in mind, let’s take a look at how resale home prices vary across select Canadian cities and how they have changed significantly over the last five years.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the benchmark* price of a home on the resale market aggregated across a range of Canadian cities was $882,400 in April 2022. This was $348,000 (65%) higher than in April 2017.
As of April 2022, the benchmark price of a home in Calgary was $511,600 (up $87,500 or 21% from five years earlier) and $371,600 in Edmonton (up $32,500 or 10%).
Prices were much higher in markets like Vancouver where the April 2022 benchmark price was $1,374,500 (up $416,000 or 43% from April 2017) and Toronto where the benchmark was sitting at $1,354,000 (up $531,300 or 65%).
It’s important to note that the benchmarks are an overall indicator of affordability with actual prices of homes varying greatly for a wide range of reasons including location, type, size and condition. Still, it’s clear some markets are less affordable than others and, in many cities, the home prices have gone up by hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few years. These increases have put pressure on other parts of the housing system, leaving many Canadians wondering how they will afford to keep a roof over their heads.
*The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) model is used to calculate benchmark prices in key Canadian markets. A “benchmark home” is one whose attributes are typical of homes traded in the area where it is located and includes single family homes, townhouse/row units and apartment units.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The offside (a.k.a. offsides) rule was introduced by the NHL in 1930.
Today’s trivia question: Who is the Calgary Flames’ all-time scoring leader (goals plus assists)?