Urban home price gains spilling over to suburbs

Hamilton-Burlington has seen prices jump 8%

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(Arpad Benedek/Getty Images)

(Arpad Benedek/Getty Images)

TORONTO – Realtor group Re/Max says home prices soared in Toronto and Vancouver in the first quarter with some of the effects spilling over into nearby regions.

The average sale price of a home in Vancouver grew seven per cent year over year to $874,869, a figure that includes everything from condos to detached homes.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the average residential sale price grew eight per cent from a year ago to $594,827.

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Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president at Re/Max Ontario Atlantic, says a growing number of Canadians who work in pricey Toronto and Vancouver are buying homes in nearby areas where they can get more for their money.

Victoria saw sales climb 23 per cent with average prices up two per cent to $569,070, while Barrie saw sales grow 11 per cent year-over-year as the average price gained six per cent to $365,201.

In the Hamilton-Burlington region, the average sale price increased by eight per cent to $443,706.

“Regions outside of Vancouver and Toronto, including Victoria, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, have all reported this spillover effect from Canada’s highest priced regions,” Sandhu said.

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“These regions have seen more sales activity, as well as price gains, as buyers look to get more value for their money by expanding their boundaries. They’re willing to go for a longer commute and get larger properties for the money that they spend.”

In Toronto, more and more buyers are putting in offers on properties before they are even listed online, Sandhu said. Real estate agents are tapping into their networks to learn about places about to go on sale by word of mouth, in order to help clients secure purchases in a fiercely competitive market.

Price gains across the remainder of the country were more modest, in the low single-digit range, with a handful of regions registering slight declines.

The average sale price in Calgary slipped two per cent to $474,251, while in Regina, it fell six per cent to $308,355.

The number of single homebuyers has also been on the rise across the country, Sandhu said.

“This marks a shift in life milestones as previously home ownership often came after marriage,” he said.

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