Toronto and the broader Ontario housing market surged in the pre-lockdown days, though the sudden switch to work-from-home conditions brought on an urban exodus, in turn driving up prices in suburban and rural markets.
A gradual return to normal has many office workers moving back to big cities, while other factors like soaring inflation and the Bank of Canada's moves to tighten interest rates have experts warning that home prices could be on the way down across the country.
Just not in major urban centres like Toronto.
According to the latest Canadian Residential Real Estate Outlook from Desjardins Economic Studies, "Canadian provinces and the country as a whole are expected to see home prices decline but remain above their pre-COVID levels," with the caveat that "individual communities will be impacted very differently. "
The report states that the average Ontario home price rose by approximately 13 per cent in the two years before the pandemic hit, though this growth was completely eclipsed by the over 60 per cent gains registered in the province from Dec. 2019 to Feb. 2022, prices climbing substantially from $645,000 to $1,040,000.
Experts at Desjardins state that this February high represented a price peak that may end up being the high water mark of the Canadian housing market, meaning the country has nowhere to go but down (and back towards the realm of relative affordability.)
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