Every month, the Canadian Real Estate Association publishes market statistics that include the national average home price. In March, it hit $716,828, up 32 per cent from March, 2020. But as you travel across the country, what that average price allows you to buy turns out to be not so average after all. Below are detached houses that recently sold or listed near the national average price.
11830 Rue Philippe-Hébert is a two-storey, three-bedroom house in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, on the northern edge of the Island of Montreal. Built in 1954 on a corner lot, the 1,250-square-foot home sold for $700,000 in December, 2020, after eight days on the market and multiple bidders. It’s a nice turnkey property – there is new flooring throughout and the remodelled kitchen includes stainless-steel appliances – but not a showstopper.
Mathieu Lagarde, co-founder of Christine Gauthier Immobilier Inc., says houses in the area closer to the subway station can go for $200,000 more. “We tend to get young professionals buying that had a condo close to downtown and wanted to move to a house.”
Sellers are oftentimes leaving the city, he said, fleeing to the picturesque Laurentians, a once sleepy market. “They get way more offers than we receive. If we get five offers, they will get 20 offers.”
The $725,700 price paid for 39 Springbank View in Calgary is above average for the city’s detached home market – which hovers around $516,000. “We are seeing a lot of activity in this price range. For sure, this is a higher-end home – not in the million-dollar range – but it prices some people out,” said listing agent Julie Clark with CIR Realty.
The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house built in 1999 was recently renovated and has 2,150 square feet of living space on three levels. A main-floor den with double built-in desks can serve as a home office, and the primary bedroom features a five-piece ensuite. The property sits on the west-side of the city close to downtown but with easy access to the mountains.
“We had 25 showings in one day and six offers. It went higher than we expected,” Ms. Clark said.
According to Honestdoor.com, a digital real-estate service, 99 per cent of the home sales in Vancouver are above the national average price. Not a single detached house sold at or below the national average in the past 90 days – though a 50-per-cent share of a home sold for $650,000.
In nearby Surrey, a boarded-up shack and narrow lot sold for $675,000. Further out in Port Coquitlam a house the listing claims is unsafe to enter sold for $725,000.
In Maple Ridge, only a 50-minute drive (with no traffic) from downtown Vancouver, a habitable house at 12606 224th St. sold for $700,000 on April 8. The 70-year-old bungalow’s faded decor is stuck somewhere between the eighties and the nineties but it has half an acre of land, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a two-car garage and a rather large forbidding gate on the front drive.
With its black-framed windows and mix of grey stucco and siding, the four-bedroom, four-bath, two-storey home at 35 Chaikoski Court is the model 21st-century suburban house. It sold for just under the national average in April: $707,200.
Built in 2017 in a new subdivision of the established Charleswood neighbourhood, south of the airport and the Assiniboine River, the home features high-end material upgrades (stone hearth, quartz counters and soft-grey hardwood floors), almost 2,600 square feet of living space, a large yard and a finished basement. “It would fall in the top 10 per cent of prices for Winnipeg,” said selling agent Chris Pennycook with Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate.
The average price home in the city is $350,000, but detached homes priced between $500,000 to $749,999 made up almost 18 per cent of sales in March.
A detached home selling for the under the national average price in Toronto is as rare as hen’s teeth, but 2099 Dufferin St. sold for $711,500 in February, a million dollars less than March’s $1,750,518 average detached home price in the city. Technically a one-bedroom (the main floor has a wall-unit murphy bed, to make space for a painting studio), the 700-square-foot home had been rented out to a family of five.
“It was a bargain. Those bungalows are mainly desirable for the lot they are sitting on,” said Monika Merinat, broker with Royal LePage Terrequity Realty. The buyer, a builder, plans to gut it and build up and out. “It was an honest price for what it was: It’s really tiny and not in very good shape. [The owner] was sitting on a ticking bomb” of potential roof, furnace and other repairs, Ms. Merinat said.
Five years ago Oshawa’s average detached home price was $437,000. But between 2016 and 2019, the city was the number one destination for suburban flight from Toronto, economist Mike Moffat says, gaining 27,000 residents from its bigger neighbour. And the trend has continued.
In March, 2021, 413 detached homes sold with an average price of $849,852. Which means that 520 Simcoe St. North’s February sale for $725,000 was a bargain. The charmingly well-maintained 1920s two-storey, four-bedroom brick home is in central Oshawa’s O’Neill neighbourhood, surrounded by parks and near the city’s main hospital and the historic Parkwoods Estate.
The 1,700-square-foot property features the original hardwood floors and trim, along with upgrades such as granite counters in the kitchen and heated floors in the main bath. The basement includes a three-piece bathroom and a separate entrance, and the detached garage/workshop is insulated and equipped with electrical and a woodstove.
Conception Bay, Nfld.
If you’re really looking to stretch that national average dollar, you can’t do better than Newfoundland and Labrador. Take 98 Greens Rd., which sits right on the ocean with a view of Conception Bay, priced for $729,900. This four-bedroom, 3,200-square-foot house feels spacious inside and out, with a pool, outbuildings and almost an acre of oceanfront land. The property hasn’t sold yet – and in Newfoundland you can still negotiate prices. “Generally they will sell for 6 per cent under asking,” said Brent Roach, with Royal LePage Atlantic Homestead.
The communities on Conception Bay are essentially one big suburb of St. John’s, about an hour away, and the average sale price is around the $150,000 mark. A third to a half of buyers now are people moving back after living out of province, Mr. Roach said. “They aren’t buying the houses in the woods, they want houses that have that ocean view.”
Buying real estate for the first time means dealing with an array of new terms and acronyms. Here are some explanations for some of the most common a buyer might come across.
The Globe and Mail
Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.