Century 21: Montreal, Toronto seeing Canada's strongest home price growth

In an interesting twist, C21 chose to base its new report on price per square foot rather than sale price

Century 21: Montreal, Toronto seeing Canada's strongest home price growth

Montreal and Toronto are the real estate markets exhibiting the strongest growth right now, according to CENTURY 21 Canada.

In its fourth annual report that ranks housing values based on their price per square foot (psf), CENTURY 21 said that Canadian home prices remained strong on the whole, while sales activity is steadily recovering after the initial shock of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“When the pandemic took hold in Canada in mid-March, there was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen to real estate sales during the typically busy spring market,” said Brian Rushton, executive vice president of CENTURY 21 Canada. “What we have seen is that after a dip in the number of sales early in the pandemic, the pace of sales has returned to near-normal levels as real estate agents and companies innovated new ways of doing things. The real estate industry has proved resilient through the past several months. And even further, prices have held steady as well.”

One shining exception was Montreal, which saw detached home prices in the downtown and southwest areas increase by 42.14% to $958 psf. Townhouses also had a similarly strong 44% growth to $768, while condos posted a more modest 13.55% uptick to $805.

“Even though real estate in Quebec was not considered an essential service, we have seen strong demand and a jump in prices in 2020,” said Mohamad Al-Hajj, owner of CENTURY 21 Immo-Plus in Montreal.

The Greater Toronto Area’s outskirts had the most notable increases in Ontario, with Newmarket seeing single-detached home values going up by 37.29%, and Kitchener having 17% price growth in the same asset class.

“With a work from home option more realistic for some people, they’re finding they can get a larger home if they move a bit further from Toronto,” Rushton said. “Even if their commute is a little longer they’re traveling to an office less often, which makes it more tolerable.”

Toronto’s downtown area condos had an 8.9% increase to $1,083 psf, making them the second most expensive nationwide.