The national average sale price for a home rose 9.4 per cent, year over year, in March — but just 2.4 per cent if it wasn’t for Canada’s two hottest real estate markets, Toronto and Vancouver.

Sales climbed, as usual, in March over February in about two-thirds of all major Canadian housing markets — they were up about 4.1 per cent — as the country heads into the peak spring buying period of April, May and June, according to figures released Wednesday by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The average national price of a home sold in March was $439,144, but a far more modest $332,711 if Toronto and Vancouver sales are excluded from the statistics, noted CREA.

“Greater Vancouver and the GTA are really the only two hot spots for home sales and prices in Canada,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump in a statement.

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